County Council's investments in low carbon and renewable energy paying dividends

West Sussex County Council’s investment in low carbon, renewable energy is continuing to pay dividends according to the latest annual report.
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Over the past decade the authority has steadily increased the amount of clean, green electricity it generates by installing solar panels on its buildings and schools and using surplus land to develop two solar farms at Tangmere and Westhampnett near Chichester.

In line with its Energy Strategy the County Council is also investing in energy storage and developing ‘grid scale’ battery sites. The batteries provide a service to the electricity grid and can store and supply electricity as required, for example, to help maintain grid stability as intermittent sources of renewable power, such as solar farms and wind farms, fluctuate throughout the day.

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According to the County Council’s latest solar generation report for the 2021/22 financial year, its renewable energy systems generated more than 16,000 MWh of clean electricity for the grid, which is enough to power more than 5,500 average UK homes. This prevented 3,700 tonnes of CO2te being released into the atmosphere compared to generating the same amount of electricity from fossil fuels.

When the Tangmere solar farm was unveiledWhen the Tangmere solar farm was unveiled
When the Tangmere solar farm was unveiled

With an increase in corporate renewable energy systems coming on stream, the authority has also put in place new operation and maintenance arrangements with a specialist private sector provider. The company is responsible for monitoring and maintaining the systems round the clock and reducing system outages to maximise generation.

The county council also works with a specialist energy partner to market the energy it generates and operate its batteries to deliver the best financial return.