Nick Herbert "switches on" solar panels in Steyning

Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert was on hand to “switch on” new solar panels installed at The Steyning Centre.

The £13,800 project, funded by the Department for Business and Viridor Credits, has been four years in the making and could save the Centre around £700 a year.

The ceremony was held on Saturday (27 February) with Mr Herbert unveiling a digital display in the Centre's foyer showing the power generated by the solar panels and the CO2 emissions saved.

Steyning Parish Council believes that the 18 solar panels installed on the roof will generate between 1,400 and 1,600 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of power each year and reduce the Centre's carbon emissions by 10 to 15 per cent.

After the unveiling, Mr Herbert was given a tour of the Centre to meet members of local groups and organisations, including local air cadets and First Responders, who were taking part in the Steyning Showcase.

Steyning Parish Council Chairman Sue Rogers commented: "We were very pleased that Nick was able to support our Steyning Showcase event and switch on the new solar panels.  We felt our Showcase Day was a great success and very well attended.  Although some 54 voluntary groups and organisations were present we recognise there were a number that we could not accommodate and we hope to fit them in next time when we repeat the event, possibly in 2012."

Nick Herbert commented: "I was delighted to switch on the Steyning Centre's new solar panels.  It's a great example of what we can do locally to help tackle climate change and cut energy costs.  I would like to see more of these micro-generation projects so that it's not just the Government and big energy companies who take responsibility for generating power but local communities, homes and businesses too."

Mr Herbert added: "It was great to meet so many people taking part in the Steyning Showcase.  Most of the local groups and organisations are run by volunteers and it just shows what a strong sense of community there is here in Steyning.  It's a great tribute to local people and it makes me very proud to be their MP."



Notes for Editors

1. The event took place at The Steyning Centre, Fletchers Croft, Steyning BN44 3XZ on Saturday 27 February.

2. In the photograph Nick Herbert (left) is shown switching on the solar panels with Chairman of the Steyning Centre Committee Gordon Marshall.

Christopher N Howarth