Council to investigate in solar farms to cut carbon and generate revenue

Charnwood Borough Council could explore the creation of two solar farms to reduce its carbon footprint.

The Council has identified two locations on land it owns in Loughborough and its Cabinet will consider a proposal to carry out feasibility studies.

The Council says the idea is in a very early stage and at this point it is only considering gathering further information to understand the investment needed and level of energy generation possible from solar installations.

Cllr Roy Rollings, Lead Member for Transformation with responsibility for the Council’s commitment to be Carbon Neutral by 2030, said: “One of our strategic priorities is to care for the environment and we are committed to making our operations carbon neutral by 2030.

“We have reduced our carbon footprint by 40 per cent since 2015 but we recognise that we need to go further in the coming years.

“The proposal at the moment is to explore the feasibility of adding solar installations on land we own and possibly to some of our buildings before any further decisions are made.

“Further investment would clearly be needed but that is not a decision we can make without firm evidence to support that. We would also look to ensure that any investment pays for itself.”

The report to Cabinet, which meets on Thursday 10th February, says two primary sites for solar farms have been identified. One is a 21-acre piece of land at Nanpantan, near to where the new cemetery is being created. The other is a 40-acre site at Allsopp’s Lane in Loughborough. Both sites are owned by the Council.

The feasibility study will also consider the potential of rooftop installations on Council buildings and at Council car parks.

Cabinet is being asked to approve £150,000 of funding from a budget which has already been allocated to help reduce the Council’s carbon footprint. However, the report says a significant contingency is built into this cost and not all of the funding may be needed.

The Cabinet report can be read here: https://bit.ly/CharnwoodCabinetSolar.