Councils to invest in solar energy across Adur and Worthing
A series of investments in solar energy are planned across Adur and Worthing as the two councils look to become carbon neutral by 2030.
Officers are investigating pv panels on rooftops, solar carports and a 3MW solar farm on council-owned land.
Immediate progress is set to be made on rooftop solar installations by allocating capital funds supported by bids to the Public Sector Decarbonisation Fund.
Over the next year feasibility and invest-to-save business cases are due to be worked up to deliver a pipeline of projects.
Rooftop solar PV opportunities on council buildings in phase one due to be progressed immediately include Goring Recreation Ground, Worthing Town Hall, Assembly Hall, Eastbrook Manor Community Centre, Commerce Way Depot, Manor Court and Shadwells Court.
Potential phase two locations range from Durrington Amenity Centre to Worthing Crematorium and the Connaught Theatre.
The Pond Road site at the Shoreham Centre is considered the best initial opportunity for a solar carport and if successful other car parks could follow suit.
An opportunity to build a 3MW solar farm on the former Worthing landfill site to the north of Brooklands Park is also set to be investigated.
At the same time the councils would explore purchasing renewable energy generation assets, most likely solar PV, from third parties outside of Adur and Worthing.
Not only would this provide a financial return, it would provide a means of offsetting council emissions.
The approach to investing in solar energy was supported by members of the joint strategic committee on Tuesday (December 1).
Angus Dunn, Adur’s executive member for resources, described how they had moved fast to embed the climate change agenda into all aspects of council business.
Edward Crouch, Worthing’s executive member for digital and environmental services, added: “This is really innovative. The 2030 target is extremely aggressive and we are driving at pace.”
The councils are launching the latest SustainableAW magazine later this week detailing their latest initiatives to help tackle the climate crisis.
The latest edition includes the work of the Climate Assembly, a meeting of citizens who are reporting back to councils with proposals for more climate change fighting action, support for the establishment of a kelp forest off the Sussex coast to capture carbon and the work being done by environmental groups to rewild green spaces.
Emma Evans, Adur’s executive member for the environment, said: “I hope residents are now assured that our commitment to an environmental programme that plays our part in fighting climate change is serious and tangible.
“The target of using solar energy to reduce our carbon emissions by a third is certainly ambitious but we are determined to make real progress on this.”
Cllr Crouch added: “I hope residents will take a few minutes to flick through SustainableAW because it shows the work that very many people, organisations and volunteers as well as ourselves, are undertaking to protect our natural environment and help the fight against climate change.”