Saints turn to solar power at Franklin’s Gardens

editorial image

More than 200 solar panels are being installed at Franklin’s Gardens this week.

The roof of the Burrda Sport Stand at Northampton Saints’ ground will be covered in the panels as the club makes its move towards what it hopes will be a smaller carbon footprint and a greener future.

The work is being carried out by Buckingham-based SolarTech and once complete the panels will, between them, generate 50kW of electricity for every hour of sunshine.

The latest green initiative follows that of the Franklin’s Gardens lake, which was a major feature of the Weedon Road site back in the days when it was a Victorian pleasure garden, and which now provides David Powell and his groundstaff with irrigation water for the club’s pitches.

Chief executive Allan Robson said renewable energy was important for the club: “We’re fortunate to have our own stadium, rather than having to groundshare, so we can explore options that will benefit the club in the longer-term. In an era when electricity prices are continuing to rise, looking into alternatives which generate renewable energy is something which makes a lot of sense.

“The Burrda Sport Stand was the perfect location, and the technicians from SolarTech tell us that they have rarely worked on a better site for solar panels. The stand is one of the highest buildings in the area, so it doesn’t come under that much shade, and on clear days like we’ve had this week it has direct sunlight for the vast majority of the day.

“Of course we know that the weather will change, but these solar panels have been installed with a long-term view and we’re very happy to be reducing our carbon footprint in the process.”