Solar farm helps council content with budget cuts

Telford & Wrekin Council is expected to make an estimated £180,000 from a solar farm development launched last year, helping the council offset government cuts to its budget.

The development at Wheat Leasows has generated 3.96GWh of electricity in its first 12 months, helping to power almost 1,000 homes and save 2,000 tons of CO2 emissions compared to more traditional electricity production.

The solar array forms part of the council’s efforts to reduce costs in the face of government cuts to local authority budgets. In addition, Telford & Wrekin Council also plans to improve energy efficiency and lower electricity usage in council buildings.

Councillor Shaun Davies, cabinet lead for commercial projects, said: “We’re really pleased with the success of the solar farm just 12 months after it was switched on. At a time when we need to make £30 million in budget cuts due to cuts to the government grant, the money raised by the solar farm is very welcome.

“This project has demonstrated our commitment to show community leadership and to be a greener council.”

As well as generating power, Wheat Leasows site is also being used as an example of how solar farms can be used for multiple purposes, with a successful pilot period of bee keeping on the site set to continue for another year. The council has also stated that it plans to continue to work with interested parties and schools to look at more community initiatives in the future.