Solar farm glinting in the sunlight

West Berkshire Council announces £10m solar farm plan

To help it achieve its carbon neutrality ambitions by a 2030 deadline, West Berkshire Council has announced plans to construct a new £10m solar farm.

Currently intended to be built on council-owned land near Grazeley, the council would plan to build a farm consisting of more than 45,000 solar panels installed over 75 acres.

In preparation, the local authority carried out a feasibility study.

This showed the solar farm could offset around 30% of the council’s carbon footprint, including the estimated footprint of contractors working on the local authority’s behalf.

Funding for the project will be included in the capital strategy and submitted for council approval on March 2, 2021.

Cllr Steve Ardagh-Walter, Executive Member for the Environment for the council, said: “It could significantly reduce our carbon footprint with any surplus income available to reinvest in other environmental projects.

“Our Environment Strategy is something we are absolutely committed to, and this new solar farm is a statement of our intent towards achieving a carbon neutral district by 2030.”

Should plans be approved, work is expected to begin on the site in 2022.

It follows more than £500,000 investment by the local authority into solar panel installation in 2020, with panels installed on six buildings - generating almost 400,000KWh per year.

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