When pigeons decided to build nests underneath solar panels in Nottingham, it cost the city council over £350,000 to remove the nests and replace the panels.
As part of its plan to make the city carbon neutral by 2028, the authority has installed thousands of solar panels on residents’ roofs.
However, there have been over 300 reports of problems associated with birds nesting underneath them, including damage to roofs and the spread of disease through their droppings.
At the cost of £362,664, the guard mesh will be installed on affected panels.
According to a council spokesman, more than three thousand city-owned buildings have solar panels installed on their roofs.
“Birds building nests directly under the solar panels has been identified as a recurrent problem.
He said this had resulted in several problems, including “resident complaints,” blocked gutters, damaged tiles, leaky roofs, increased unwanted noise, and a buildup of guano (droppings) that was considered dangerous to a humans health.
Throughout their service life, solar panels can lose as much as 30% of their efficiency due to the accumulation of droppings.
In a statement, the company spokesperson said: “To date, we have received over 300 calls and up to five emails per day from the customer service team and tenants, all of whom want to know what we plan to do to fix this issue.
Because not all panels are affected due to their location and because we fit this protection to all new installations, “the plan is to carry out the works on a needs must” basis.
The Labour-led authority, already subject to oversight by a government-appointed board, has had to make an extra appeal for funding to provide the pigeons with safety nets.
This expenditure was deemed appropriate for funding from the Housing Revenue Account.
Capital receipts, such as money from selling surplus land and structures, will be used to pay for the approved program.
Having recently brought Nottingham City Homes (NCH) in-house, the authority has decided to award the contract for the pigeon protection works to NCH.
In May, it was discovered that up to £40 million intended for housing tenants in Nottingham had instead been used for other purposes. This loan is now due in full.
Recently, the government “minded” to bring in commissioners to help run the council for the next two years.