M Shed installs 181 solar panels - Museums Association

M Shed installs 181 solar panels

Energy efficiency measures will save £50,000 a year
M Shed in Bristol has installed 181 solar panels on its roof as part of wider energy efficiency measures that are expected to save it £50,000 a year on energy bills.

The solar panels will provide about 10% of the museum's energy requirements. Historic cranes located next to the museum were used to transfer the panels from the dockside to the museum’s roof.

The installation was part of a four-year programme in Bristol, which will see solar panels installed on a range of council-owned buildings.

Other energy efficiency measures being introduced by M Shed include replacing 16 windows around the building to allow for natural ventilation. The windows will automatically open and close depending on the environmental conditions outside, which the Bristol City Council said would minimise the need for additional heating and cooling.

The museum’s temperature, humidity and CO2 sensors controls are also being upgraded. These measures will reduce M Shed’s electricity use by 50%, saving 270 tonnes of CO2 and £50,000 each year.

George Ferguson, the mayor of Bristol, said: “It’s more important than ever for all of us to think how we can save money on our energy bills by installing energy efficiency and renewable energy measures. 

"I would encourage any museum or institution to look at its ability to do this, not just because of significant financial savings on energy and maintenance but also because these projects can contribute to sustaining exhibits by creating the right temperature, humidity and lighting conditions in perpetuity."
Earlier this year the Science Museum Group and Swindon Borough Council received planning permission to construct the UK’s largest solar farm of 160,000 solar panels on 178 acres of disused land at the museum’s storage site in Wroughton, near Swindon.

The farm, which is expected to cost up to £50m, should generate 41 megawatts of electricity – enough energy to power more than 12,000 homes. The biodiversity of the site will also be developed, with the introduction of bat and bird boxes, meadows and a flock of sheep.

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