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Councils give major boost to solar power as green drive continues

10 December 2020 1:56 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

Councils give major boost to solar power as green drive continues 

Plans to install solar energy panels across buildings owned by Adur & Worthing Councils could help to reduce the authorities carbon emissions by a third, according to a report.

Rooftop, solar carports and the establishment of a local solar farm form part of the programme of action aimed at helping the Councils become carbon neutral by 2030. The Councils are also investigating the purchase of a large scale solar farm outside their boundaries to contribute to the carbon neutral drive.

A report, backed by the Councils’ Joint Strategic Committee, says that introducing more solar panels is an important first step towards the carbon neutral target as electricity demand rises with the introduction of new heating systems and electric vehicles.

The news comes as the Councils launches the latest SustainableAW magazine later this week detailing it’s latest initiatives to help tackle the climate crisis. The Councils declared a climate emergency last year.

The latest edition edition includes the work of the Climate Assembly, a meeting of citizens who are reporting back to Councils with proposals for more climate change fighting action, support for the establishment of a kelp forest off the Sussex coast to capture carbon and the work being done by environmental groups to rewild green spaces.

Adur District Council’s Executive Member for the Environment, Cllr Emma Evans, said, ‘I hope residents are now assured that our commitment to an environmental programme that plays our part in fighting climate change is serious and tangible.

‘The target of using solar energy to reduce our carbon emissions by a third is certainly ambitious but we are determined to make real progress on this.’ 

Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Digital  and Environmental Services, Cllr Edward Crouch, said, ‘I hope residents will take a few minutes to flick through SustainableAW because it shows the work that very many people, organisations and volunteers as well as ourselves, are undertaking to protect our natural environment and help the fight against climate change.’

The solar energy plan has identified several phase 1 rooftop solar panels at locations including Worthing Town Hall, Goring Recreation Ground, Worthing Assembly Hall, Commerce Way, Eastbrook Manor Community Centre, and Adur Homes’ properties at Manor Court and Shadwell Court.

The first car port scheme, roofs with solar panels placed above car parks, is set to be the Pond Road car park in Shoreham with energy generated powering the Shoreham Centre.

The report identifies a former landfill site north of Brooklands Park as a possible solar energy farm and says officers will continue to identify possibilities for investment in larger farms outside of the area which can contribute to offsetting, counteracting, Councils carbon emissions.

An initial investment of £2.2m is required but, says the report, each scheme will eventually contribute savings to Councils’ energy budget.

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