Woking Albion Square Canopy

The Albion Square Canopy has been a controversial project since it was first approved in 2004. It was conceived as a gateway to the town and as a solar power project generating an estimated 51,000 to 58,000 kWh a year. The project was overspent by £1,165,000. In 2008 it generated 45,123 kWh. The local Friends of the Earth came out against the project while the Local Agenda 21 group supported it. A report in Woking news and Mail estimated that “the figure equates to powering a 100-watt light bulb for 59 days” – clearly a huge underestimate. My maths calculates it as 18,801 days or 51 and a half years for 24 hours a day. Opinion in the town is divided as to its worth.

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One Response to Woking Albion Square Canopy

  1. Pete Smith says:

    Estimates, huh? Don’t you just love ’em? Would be interesting to know exactly what ‘data’ the forecasted annual 51,000 kWh was based on. Met Office figures show that annual sunshine figures for ‘England SE & Central S’ have never got close to the figures for 2003, the last year for which full figures were available before the project was approved. Maybe someone assumed that sunshine would always stay at least at 2003 levels.
    Anyway, it’s producing electicity, which has to be a Good Thing. And since the original raison d’etre of the Canopy was as a ‘gateway’ to Woking, and the PV electricity component was a green afterthought, maybe we shouldn’t worry too much about the kWh ‘deficit’. It would be interesting to know whether the £1m+ shortfall arose from the construction of the structure, or from installing the PV panels, or both.

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