Page 36 - Market Times June 2021
P. 36

West Bromwich goes
green with amazing solar-
powered market stalls
Revolutionary market stalls manufactured by Cambridge firm
  IN A GROUNDBREAKING first, West Bromwich in the West Midlands has installed new market stalls with trans- parent solar PV (photovoltaic) glass roofs which power the market’s lighting and feed into the National Grid.
The new stalls have given the market a much brighter, modern look, as well as solving an anti- social behaviour problem, and providing a green energy solu- tion which means the council can make money from provid- ing lighting, rather than charg- ing for it.
Andy Bucknall, Sandwell Council’s deputy market man- ager, who has helped run mar-
kets in West Brom for more than 30 years, said that, whilst there were teething problems, the new, environmentally- friendly stalls had been well re- ceived by traders and shoppers alike.
The lighting on the stalls is powered by the solar glass and any surplus energy goes into the grid system, for which the coun- cil will receive payment.
West Bromwich outdoor mar- ket is currently a tale of two halves. The new stalls run along the centre of the pedestrianised High Street called Duchess Pa- rade, and a short distance away the old, shabby dilapidated stalls run along the other half of
the High Street called Princess Parade.
Andy explained that, when funding was available, the plan was to demolish the old stalls and create more new stalls to accommodate the displaced traders, bringing the market to- gether.
He said: “West Bromwich market has always been popular and over the years we have in- vested in different stalls.
The original ones were de- mountable and they were set up on a daily basis. He said the council moved to static stalls with folding-down tables, which were the best available in their day.
“They had reached the end of their life expectancy and the council was able to access some Government funding for their replacements,” Andy said.
After careful research, the market team decided to ap- proach a company called Polysolar (see page 42), spe- cialising in solar-powered solu- tions for projects like bus shelters and carport canopies, which can provide energy to power plug-in electric cars.
Although they had never pro- duced glass for market stalls, the company was keen to tackle the project and the stalls were designed and constructed in a short timeframe over a couple

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