The county council has powered up its second solar farm which features the latest battery storage technology to maximise benefits.
Westhampnett solar farm near Chichester will generate enough clean electricity to power 2,400 homes for the next 25 years.
It’s a pioneering project that has been built on a closed landfill next to the A27. The large batteries are used to store surplus electricity and release it to the grid when consumer energy demand peaks.
Westhampnett solar farm forms part of the county council’s long-term energy strategy to increase the amount of renewable energy generated and consumed in the county. This will help to ensure that energy is affordable, resilient and environmentally sustainable for years to come.
Tangmere solar farm, the first site completed by the county council in 2015, already generates enough clean energy for 1,500 homes and solar panels on council buildings, including offices, schools and fire stations are producing clean energy and helping to reduce energy costs. More than 70 West Sussex schools will be generating clean solar energy by the end of this financial year.
All the county council’s renewable energy projects are designed to pay back the full cost of installation over time and deliver an income. Much of the work is delivered by Sussex companies, which benefits local jobs and growth.
Louise Goldsmith, county council Leader, said: “I am delighted to see the completion of Westhampnett solar farm. Living in the sunniest county, it makes absolute sense for us to use our natural resources and to generate clean energy that can be fed in to the local electricity grid.
“As one of the first solar farms to be built with battery storage and free from government subsidy, we are blazing a trail among local authorities and demonstrating that councils have a role to play as local leaders on energy.”
With more solar farms and battery sites planned, the county council wants to supply more ‘locally-generated’ renewable energy to households through Your Energy Sussex, its council-backed energy supplier, which offers competitively-priced electricity and gas to customers.