Warrington Council is planning to spend between £10m and £40m installing solar panels on the roofs of new logistics centres at Omega on the M62, which will generate cheap electricity to sell to tenants below.
The local authority is advertising for specialist companies to design, install and commission the large photovoltaic assets. The council will lease the roofs from the building owners and sell electricity back to them at below market rate, saving them money on energy. The PV assets will be owned by the council.
This is the first time Warrington Council has installed PV on commercial buildings and it hopes to roll out the approach if successful and use it as an incentive to attract companies to locate in the borough.
Five firms are expected to be appointed to the four-year framework in the summer. A separate tender notice is due to be released shortly for a one-off pilot project which will begin before the framework. The deadline for requests to take part in the framework competition is 5pm on 30 March 2015.
Omega is home to large units occupied or under construction by Asda, 618,000 sq ft, Travis Perkins, 700,000 sq ft, Brakes, 200,000 sq ft , Hermes 150,000 sq ft and Hut Group with 690,000 sq ft.
Developer Omega Warrington is a joint venture between Miller Developments and KUC Properties, part of Royal Bank of Scotland, in partnership with landowner the Homes & Communities Agency and supported by Warrington Council and the Cheshire & Warrington LEP.