Dorset's £1m solar panel project for schools shelved

A £1m project to install solar panels at up to 30 Dorset schools and public buildings has been put on hold indefinitely, according to the council.

It comes after the government announced in October it would halve the subsidy for solar installations made after 12 December.

The project would have provided the buildings with free electricity, Dorset County Council said.

But the council said the scheme was now "commercially unviable".

'Minimal investment'

The tariff for electricity generated by the panels is to be cut from 43.3p per kilowatt hour to 21p.

The council said it had been planning to install the solar panels before March 2012, which was the original deadline, in order to benefit from the highest subsidies available.

Robert Gould, cabinet member for environment for Dorset County Council, said: "As things stand we hadn't yet signed any contracts or committed to the installations.

"This means that our investment at this point has been minimal.

"Our plans for progressing with this matter are now on hold and we won't sign any contracts unless the government restores the original deadline."

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