Plans for West Berkshire Council Solar Farm
Keep up to date on our solar farm proposal
A solar farm could be built on land near Grazeley as part of our plans to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and help combat climate change.
As part of our Environment Strategy, we're exploring the possibility of a new solar farm, to help us on our pathway towards becoming carbon neutral. A feasibility study found a solar farm provides a viable option for clean, green energy which would offset around 30 per cent of West Berkshire Council's carbon footprint. The figure includes the estimated carbon footprint of key contractors working on our behalf.
Plans for the solar farm will see up to 60,000 solar panels installed on up to 75 acres of land we already own. This would generate enough electricity each year to power the equivalent of approximately 7,282 homes. The solar farm will help us achieve actions set out in our Environment Strategy Delivery Plan.
Speaking about the plans, Councillor Steve Ardagh-Walter, Executive Member for the Environment, said:
"Last year we installed solar panels on some of our buildings and we are now looking to build on this with the possibility of a new solar farm. It could significantly reduce our carbon footprint with any surplus income available to reinvest in other environmental projects. Our Environment Strategy is something we are absolutely committed to, and this new solar farm is a statement of our intent towards achieving a carbon neutral district by 2030."
Funding for the project, which is estimated to cost around £10 million subject to further studies and procurement, was approved by Procurement Board on 11 January 2021. We aim to achieve planning consent by August 2022, with the view to begin work on site in September 2023.
Drop-in sessions were run at Grazeley Village Hall in April and May 2022, and were open to anyone with a local interest. At these events there was an opporunity to speak with the team and find out more about the proposal.
You can alsofor more information on the proposal.
Stay up to date with plans for the solar farm and other green initiatives by subscribing to our Environment News bulletin here.