BUCHAN councillors have approved the installation of 200 solar panels and transformer units at Peterhead Academy.
At the Buchan Area Committee meeting on Tuesday, infrastructure services director, Stephen Archer, said: “The PV Panels are angled at 10° from the roof surface to maximise the south facing element.
“At their peak, they generate 50kW each to be used by the school and the National Grid.
“As demonstrated by the proposed elevation drawings, the panels will be barely visible above the parapet, with the top edge the only visible part of the panels.
He added: “The development increases the renewable credentials of Peterhead Academy without negatively impacting on the character of the surrounding area, instead, encouraging the regeneration of older buildings to fit with modern changes and renewable energy.”
After holding discussions with the agents behind the plans Mr Archer added: “The panels can be removed if they require maintenance. The idea of additional security to protect the roof has been mentioned but will not be required at the moment.”
Councillor Stuart Pratt raised his concerns that the 10° angle would not see the panels being used to their maximum potential.
Mr Archer replied by saying: “The agents have been looking into the pitch of the panels and if the angle can be changed the number of panels could be reduced by ten per cent. This wouldn’t require planning permission and it could reduce the cost of the project.”
Councillors Fiona McRae and Jim Ingram were concerned about the aluminium frame surrounding the panels.
Cllr McRae asked whether the roof could support the weight of the panels while Cllr Ingram asked if the frames would corrode by the salt in the air at Peterhead.
When cllr Ingram asked for a life span of the frames Mr Archer said: “I have no information on that matter but I would assume it was looked at previously.”