Peterborough £1m solar scheme fails to make money

A £1m solar panel project expected to generate £300,000 profit a year has not made any income.

Enterprise Peterborough installed the panels on the former Freemans factory in Ivatt Way in 2011.

A Peterborough council spokesman said it was working to rectify the situation but "legal procedures" prevented it from giving details about the failure.

No one from Enterprise Peterborough was available to comment.

A Freedom of Information request sent by a local campaign group to the council confirmed the total amount invoiced to the council by Enterprise Peterborough was £946,684.

However, the spokesman for the Conservative-led council said it had so far paid only "about one third" of that.

Repayment of the loan taken out to cover that part of the scheme would be about £62,000 per year, the FOI confirmed.

Independent councillor Mike Fletcher branded the scheme an "absolute outrage" and added: "Someone ought to see a P45 over this."

The panels on the Freemans building are part of a city-wide scheme thought to be one of the largest roof-mounted solar power schemes in the UK.

Panels installed on the Town Hall, swimming pool, the Key Theatre and a number of schools are said by the council to be "operating at or above expected output".

The council spokesman said it was working with Enterprise Peterborough to "rectify the situation" regarding the Freemans panels and was taking "appropriate steps to protect this investment and taxpayers' money".

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