Almost a quarter of Swindon Borough Council’s electricity consumption will be generated by solar power after the authority teamed up with three energy companies.
The council, in partnership with West Mercia Energy (WME), Total Gas & Power (TGP) and Swindon Chapel Farm Solar PLC (CFS), has launched a solar offset scheme at the Chapel Farm solar site (pictured) in North Swindon.
The project means that all the energy generated at the site is offset directly against the council’s energy consumption.
It is estimated that the farm will generate approximately five million kWh of electricity each year, which is nearly 25 percent of the council’s corporate electricity consumption.
Councillor Keith Williams, Swindon Borough Council’s cabinet member for climate change, said: “This is a big step towards the council’s target of being ‘net-zero’ by 2030.
"This project shows what can be done with the right partners and I thank CFS, WME and TGP for their support which, ultimately, results in energy generated in Swindon being used to offset a significant proportion of the council’s energy consumption.”
The set up involves the estimated generation of the site to be removed from Swindon’s energy procurement requirements, which are managed by West Mercia Energy.
The energy generated by the solar farm is then purchased by Total Gas & Power, WME’s electricity framework supplier, via a power purchase agreement and directly offset against the council’s consumption.
Swindon Borough Council is committed to playing its part in helping the borough reduce carbon dioxide by agreeing to reduce carbon emissions and become a net zero carbon organisation by 2030.
Nigel Evans, director of West Mercia Energy, said: “I am delighted that WME have been able to support the Council with this innovative project which helps them move towards their net-zero ambitions.
“We see local generation projects such as this one as being key to supporting local authorities becoming net-zero in the future.”
Mark Rose, director of major business at Total Gas & Power, said: “Total shares the ambition, together with society, to become carbon neutral by 2050, for all of its activities, from its production to the use of the energy products sold to its customers.
“Therefore, we are very pleased to support both Swindon and WME as they lead the way towards their own carbon neutrality.”