Cornwall Council‘s cabinet has approved a proposal to invest £16 million in the development of a self-financing “Renewable Energy Programme”.
At the Cabinet meeting yesterday (September 19), members considered a report which included a desktop assessment of wind turbines on ten Council owned sites.
Over the last year the Council has installed 1.6 megawatts of rooftop solar panels on Council buildings and is starting work on the 5 megawatt Kernow Solar Farm, UK’s first Council-owned solar farm. These, the Council claims, will produce a combined income of £1.2 million per year and the Renewable Energy Programme could increase this to over £5 million per year.
Cabinet member for corporate resources, Jim Currie, said: “Our success in delivering renewable energy projects shows that we have the professional expertise to succeed.
“By investing ourselves, we will ensure that the whole of the profits are retained for the benefit of Cornwall. The Planning environment is now experienced enough to ensure that any sites that go forward will give maximal return for minimal intrusion.”
Julian German, cabinet member for localism, sustainability and devolution, said: “The Council has already shown that it can be innovative and a public exemplar for sustainability.
“The benefits of investing in this Renewable Energy Programme are significant. We don’t expect that all of the ten Council owned sites identified as potential wind turbine sites will go ahead as there will of course be local consultation through the planning process to go through, but the desktop assessment gives a good indication of how we can proceed with a budget of £16 million.
“ The exercise carried out indicates that we can save over 18,000 tonnes of carbon and produce enough energy to power 10,000 homes.”