More than 60 jobs are being created after a construction firm was selected to install up to £35 million worth of solar panels.
Walsall-based G Purchase Construction has been awarded a contract to install more solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on almost 2,500 properties for Birmingham City Council.
That initial phase is worth £13.5 million, but opens the company up to almost treble that amount of expenditure as part of a larger framework agreement.
The boost will mean the firm initially taking on an additional 14 members of staff and 145 will undergo training to complete the work. A total of 61 jobs will be created locally across the supply chain as part of the first phase.
Chairman Paul Hargrave said landing a deal in an emerging sector with the country’s largest local authority opened the firm up to huge opportunities – which could mean taking on up to 100 more employees in the long term.
Almost all of the company’s £31 million sales came from building maintenance last year, but with oil and gas prices soaring and green commitments from the Government, he said this move stands to boost revenue.
Mr Hargrave said: “Less than five per cent of our turnover was from renewable energy, but it is going to become a much bigger market because we can’t exist on oil and gas with the way things are going.
“They are talking about electricity prices going up by 10 to 15 per cent in a year, so the energy that they generate on the roof is going to be even more of a saving.”
Purchase will install solar PV systems for 2,020 social rented and private homes of vulnerable people and 435 industrial or commercial units.
Mr Hargrave said this would lead to four million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity being created on roofs ever year, which represents a saving of up to £212,000 a year from household and business bills.
He said there would also be an annual saving 1,638 tonnes in carbon emissions per year, and earning an average of £1.3 million per year in Feed-in-Tariffs.
The company, a subsidiary of Purchase Group, was selected following a competitive tender after it was chosen to play a part in the Efficiency East Midlands Solar PV framework.
The two-year contract is the second phase of an ongoing initiative to tackle fuel poverty and reduce carbon emissions across the city of Birmingham.
The council unveiled plans for a pilot scheme which could lead to at least 10,000 homes in Birmingham benefiting from a retrofit energy efficiency upgrade last September, with homes and businesses in Aston, Lozells, Newtown and Northfield areas set to benefit.
The Birmingham Energy Savers scheme will deliver one of the key objectives of the Birmingham Declaration on Climate Change that 10 per cent of homes in the city will have retrofit insulation by 2015.
The council has set itself a target of reducing its carbon footprint by 60 per cent by 2026.