Exeter Solar Farm will provide more renewable energy for city
Published: 4 November 2021
Work to create a City Solar Farm in Exeter made up of over 3,700 solar panels is due to get underway.
Initial groundwork was carried out earlier in the year and a contractor has been appointed to carry out the work which will begin before Christmas.
The site in Marsh Barton will become a 1.2MW solar farm producing green energy for the city, including a direct supply to the Council’s Cleansing depot to support charging of its electric fleet and future use of electric refuse collection vehicles.
The initiative is just one of a number of ambitious low carbon initiatives that the City Council is involved with to promote the production and distribution of energy derived from renewable resources.
It comes as leaders from around the world meet in Glasgow as part of COP26 to thrash out ways to tackle climate change.
With the help of ERDF grant funding, the Exeter solar farm will be built on an inactive landfill site and include two battery storage containers. As well as being used to store solar power for overnight use of vehicle charging, the batteries will also be used to provide energy for the National Grid.
This initiative will further increase the Council’s use of renewable energy for its day to day operations as it strives to become Net Zero Carbon by 2030. Additional projects include battery storage systems at other Council owned sites where there are existing roof top arrays.
Since 2012 there has been a 39% cut in total energy consumption, and a 28% cut in carbon emissions. The Council has achieved a 34% reduction in carbon emissions from transport in just one year by switching to an electric fleet.
It currently has a solar PV estate of more than 2MW - the 1.5MW solar installation at the Livestock Centre produces enough renewable energy every year to power 180 homes.
Cllr Rachel Sutton, Lead Councillor for Net Zero Exeter 2030, said Exeter had a proud record of cutting carbon emissions and introducing energy saving measures over the last decade.
She said: “We are committed to becoming Net Zero Carbon and as a local authority we have been making good progress over many years.”
The Council has introduced a range of measures to help tackle climate change, including:
- Developing a Net Zero Carbon Exeter 2030 roadmap
- Protecting green spaces from development and encouraging biodiversity
- Creating solar canopy arrays on top of multi-storey car parks - five city centre car parks have free electric vehicle charging points
- Constructing new buildings to the low-energy Passivhaus standard - including new homes as well as the UK’s first Passivhaus leisure centre and care facility
- Planting 10,000 trees planted between 2010 and 2000
- Working with partners to produce a county-wide electric vehicle network