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West Sussex County Council: Large scale solar and storage

  • Location: Chichester and Worthing, West Sussex

  • Purpose: The council wants to increase the supply of clean, affordable, and secure energy for West Sussex. Investing in solar and storage means that the region could have zero carbon and cheap electricity, and a stabilised electricity grid.

  • Description: Working with Laser Energy, West Sussex County Council opened its first solar farm near Chichester in 2015. The council forecasts that the solar farm in the next ten years will cover the cost of its construction and generate a significant financial surplus. This solar farm was followed up with another, which opened in 2018 on a closed landfill site. It was able to operate without subsidy because of its 4MW battery system. Finally, a derelict waste depot was turned into a battery storage facility (20 MW+) which will be connected to the grid later in 2023. This facility will help the grid in West Sussex respond to the fluctuating demands for electricity and enable the council to sell excess power.

  • Funding: The council has allocated £42 million to fund this project and has worked with Laser Energy, a public sector buying group.

  • Conservative councillor/ council lead: Cllr Deborah Urquhart, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change

  • Further links: West Sussex renewable energy webpage, West Sussex County Council Energy Strategy, Solar Power Portal write up, Solar Together Sussex scheme, and npower Business Solutions case study write up.

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