Solar farm could cost less than expected in Torbay

Friday, 14 June 2024 08:15

By Guy Henderson, Local Democracy Reporter

Green fields at Churston are the ‘ideal site’ for a new solar energy farm, councillors have been told. Members of Torbay’s cabinet committee have given the go-ahead for the new plant at Brokenbury.

Green fields at Churston are the ‘ideal site’ for a new solar energy farm, councillors have been told.
Members of Torbay’s cabinet committee have given the go-ahead for the new plant at Brokenbury, with the aim of selling the power to South West Water (SWW) which will use it to run the Brokenbury sewage works next door.
Now the council will sit down with SWW to work out how much the water company will pay for its new source of power.
Committee members heard that the cost of the solar farm had been calculated at £2.75 million when it was first agreed in 2020, and while the estimate had stayed the same, it could end up costing even less.
Cllr Chris Lewis (Con, Preston) said: “It’s a very good project which will help us to achieve net zero carbon by 2050. I believe it to be an ideal site.
“It will work to the benefit of us and South West Water.”
Members heard that the price calculated with SWW for the energy would have to cover not only building the solar farm but also maintaining it over the next 25 years.
Cllr Alan Tyerman (Con, Churston with Galmpton) said the actual cost of the scheme could be up to £400,000 below the estimate.
“There is a good surplus on this scheme,” he said.
A report from council officers said the solar farm would be a positive step towards meeting the targets set out in the authority’s climate change strategy. It would reduce the bay’s carbon footprint by nearly 460 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, based on the average sunlight over Churston.
It may even generate a surplus which the council can sell to the national grid.
 

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