Adur & Worthing Councils have unveiled plans to install rooftop solar PV, ground-mount PV and solar carports totaling 5MW between them.

Detailing these plans in their ‘developing opportunities for solar’ document, the two described investing in solar as “a critical part of the councils’ carbon strategy”.

They have proposed 0.85MW of rooftop solar on council buildings, 1.165MW of solar carports at council carparks and a 3MW ground-mount solar farm.

The report suggests the councils should make immediate progress on the rooftop installations – which are set to cost £714,000 – using the capital funds allocated and supported by bids to the Public Sector Decarbonisation Fund. It is proposed that full business cases be presented to Executive Members in early 2021 seeking approval to proceed.

The report also suggests that a feasibility study for the 3MW solar farm should be developed in early 2021 to further investigate the opportunity. This includes the potential for co-located battery storage, which the councils said could improve financial viability. The farm is expected to cost £2,432,200, with the solar carports expected to cost £1,750,800.

The introduction of solar will, however, bring several benefits to the councils. They pointed to funding bids for 7 rooftop solar schemes submitted to the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme in November 2020 that if successful would save £14,400 a year in electricity bill savings in the first year of operation.

There is also potential for large scale solar investment out of the councils’ area, with further work to be undertaken to investigate the benefits of this.