Monday, February 26, 2024

U.K. Oldham Council To Spend £1.35m On Failsworth Solar Farm

A council is set to spend £1.35m on a solar farm that is hoped will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 50 tonnes a year and cut energy bills.

Oldham Council signed off the 2018 plan to install 2,700 solar panels in Failsworth.

The plan was paused in 2021 during the Covid-19 pandemic after it was argued forecasted low energy prices meant the farm had “no viable business case”.

The recent energy crisis prompted the council to return to the proposals.

Market testing carried out in 2022 found that one energy supplier’s informal export price was triple the amount of what it was when the solar farm was proposed.

The initiative could see council bills reduced as well as generating a significant amount of renewable energy, said the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Councillor Abdul Jabbar, deputy leader and cabinet member for finance and low carbon, said he was “excited” by the project, which would see panels installed on a currently disused site.

Mr Jabbar added: “This will now help us reduce energy bills and carbon emissions alongside contribution to our carbon neutrality targets we have for council buildings and street lights.

“At the same time, we will improve the previous landfill site and their will be wildflower planting, invasive species of weed will be removed and we will maintain access through the site for wild animals.”

A report made to the council cabinet said the project could in the future “provide electricity for an Oldham Local Energy Market to assist residents and businesses with their energy bills”.

Council leader Amanda Chadderton described Mr Jabbar as Oldham’s “very own Greta Thunberg”.

She added: “The potential for the site is quite significant, we have really ambitious targets in Oldham around carbon neutrality and this will go a long way to ensuring we achieve these.”

The project could be completed by October.

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