Winchester City Council has installed solar panels that will generate the equivalent of charging 15 homes and a million modern mobile phones, at a waste depot thanks to funding from Enterprise M3 LEP.
The grant funding for the innovative project came from the LEP’s Clean Growth Pilot Programme, which saw the city council work in partnership with Custom Solar and Portsmouth City Council, at Biffa Winchester, to reduce carbon emissions and energy bills.
The 134 photovoltaic (PV) solar panels development, at the waste management site in Barfield Close, will generate renewable energy being sold to Biffa at a discounted rate per kilowatt hour. It isa expected to produce 51kWh and reduce 11 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
Sue Littlemore, Joint managing director at Enterprise M3 LEP, Sue Littlemore, said: “We are delighted to have supported this project through EM3’s Getting Building Fund and our Clean Growth programmes. This excellent project chimes well with our vision to make the EM3 area a leader in sustainable energy, and decarbonised, clean economic growth.”
Cabinet member for climate emergency, Cllr Kelsie Learney, said: “I am thrilled to see the completion of the solar panel installation at Biffa, and proud that businesses in our district are becoming more sustainable by generating renewable energy for their buildings.
“Winchester City Council is determined to reduce its own carbon emissions, and that of the district. Supporting and driving environmental initiatives like this one will create big leaps towards meeting our carbon neutrality goals and being greener faster.”
Biffa’s head of sustainability, Charlotte Scallon, said: “The installation of solar panels at our depot in Winchester will help stop almost 11 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) from entering the atmosphere each year.
“At Biffa we’ve already reduced carbon emissions by 70 per cent over the past 20 years. By continuing to divert waste away from landfill, increasing our operational efficiency and gradually replacing our diesel refuse collection vehicles with electric ones, we have committed to reduce them by another 50 per cent by 2030 and to have net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest."
A similar project was undertaken at Marwell Zoo, where EM3 provided match funding towards the cost of installing solar panels on a number of buildings including the Wild Explorers building, Café Graze, and the Energy Centre, as well an air source heat pump.
Winchester City Council has rented the roof space at Marwell Zoo for a peppercorn rent to install the solar panels. The generated power from the panels is sold to the zoo at a discounted market rate and is estimated to lead to a 17.5 tonnes annual emissions reduction.
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