Coventry City Council has agreed to a strategic energy partnership with E.ON which could see solar explored as part of the agreement.
The partnership, which is believed to be a “first for the UK”, the companies said, will see E.ON become the city’s new Strategic Energy Partner, helping to build a “cleaner and more sustainable city”.
Coventry and E.ON will look to use their skills and abilities to position the city as “one of the country’s industrial and creative heartlands”, the firms said, with various projects already being discussed. This includes the creation of a 30MW solar farm and bringing solar power to a number of schools.
Solar will also be integrated into a number of public buildings alongside electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure that will provide a basis to decarbonise the local mobility sector. Energy efficiency measures will also be explored for homes and businesses.
Councillor Jim O’Boyle, cabinet member for jobs, regeneration and climate change at Coventry City Council, said: “This is really exciting and completely innovative. No other city in the country is doing this. It will help Coventry move ahead with a range of projects that the Council would not have been able to achieve on its own.
“E.ON is based in Coventry and has been for almost 30 years, and it brings expertise, knowledge and skills. The partnership will also bring finance from the private sector so we will be able to quickly move forward on a range of schemes to benefit the city.
“We are already spearheading a number of major green projects, including the installation of hundreds of electric charging points – the highest number of any city outside of London. We have also developed a state-of-the art new materials recycling facility and we are well on the way to becoming the country’s first all-electric bus city.”
Chris Norbury, chief executive of E.ON UK, added: “The energy transition is a way to regenerate the local economy and we’re convinced we can make a difference in and with our home city.
“This is not about designing a new vision for the future, it’s about getting on and delivering Coventry’s response to the climate crisis – making improvements across the city that people want and need. That could mean better insulation for homes, more energy efficient public buildings, shifting from fossil fuels to locally-produced renewable energy and, perhaps most importantly, creating thousands of good jobs.”