THE SUN has got its hat on as Redditch Borough Council taps into solar power on the rooftops of two large buildings.

It is the latest bid by the council to reduce its carbon footprint - and could save local taxpayers more than £4,000 a year on bills at the Abbey Stadium and the Crossgates Depot.

Solar panels - 120 of them at the Abbey Stadium and 112 at the depot - were installed in December and are now equipped to harness energy from the sun to contribute to the electricity used at the sites.

The project has been managed by the new publicly owned property management company, Place Partnership, formed by six Worcestershire public sector organisations, including Redditch Council.

Panels at the Crossgates Depot will also help to charge the council's new electric van, which is used by stores staff to travel between sites, and the existing electric litter collection vehicle.

That will reduce the running costs and improve the environmental credentials of those vehicles even further.

Councillor Debbie Taylor, whose portfolio covers environment services, said: "This latest project will give us enough energy across both sites to power the equivalent of six houses for an entire year.

"Not only does this save us money, I think it is fantastic that we are continuing to improve the carbon footprint of our buildings year on year.

Andrew Pollard, Place Partnership's managing director, said: "The council's commitment to reducing its carbon footprint alongside Place Partnership's technical support will help to reduce costs and benefit the environment."

The council already has solar panels at the Palace Theatre, Town Hall, crematorium and at 15 sheltered housing sites.