Energy storage centre costing £11million planned in Sompting

Plans to borrow more than £11m to build an energy storage centre are to be scrutinised next week.

DM1711503a.jpg. Sompting village sign. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-170116-175049008
DM1711503a.jpg. Sompting village sign. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-170116-175049008

If approved, the Halewick Lane battery storage project will be part of the Your Energy Sussex (YES) partnership, which aims to increase renewable energy and reduce CO2 emissions in the county.

Members of West Sussex County Council’s environment, communities and fire select committee will discuss the plans at a County Hall meeting on Thursday (May 9).

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The site, in Sompting, used to house a waste depot and, since closing, has fallen foul of vandalism which cost the council £30,000 to repair in the past 12 months.

A report to the committee said all buildings on the site would be demolished and a replacement security system installed.

Planning permission has already been given for the storage facility, a transformer, parking area, CCTV and fencing.

If all goes as planned, the council will use the government’s Public Works Loan Board to borrow money to finance the £11.553m project.

The report said: “If the investment is approved it will contribute to the overall success of the Your Energy Sussex programme and bring in an income to WSCC of £29m over the 25-year life of the project.”

After all financing and maintenance charges are paid, the income in year 1 is expected to be just short of £960,000.

The committee’s comments will be put to Deborah Urquhart, cabinet member for environment, who is expected to approve the allocation of funds for the project.

She is also expected to delegate authority to the director for energy, waste and environment to award the contract to design and build the centre.

Since its launch in February 2018, Your Energy Sussex has helped hundreds of households switch to a cheaper energy tariff.

It has provided solar panels for more than 200 social housing tenants in Crawley, built solar farms at Tangmere and Westhampnett and worked with schools to fit solar panels and reduce their carbon emissions.