Photo caption: Louise Goldsmith, Leader of West Sussex County Council, next to the solar panels on top of council offices in Chichester.
Local communities are to benefit from more sustainable energy being produced in West Sussex, according to new County Council plans.
The new West Sussex Energy Strategy looks at the key actions which need to take place up to 2020 in order to build a sustainable future including affordable energy.
This includes ensuring energy is used more efficiently throughout the council as well as by businesses and residents.
Louise Goldsmith, Leader of West Sussex County Council, said: “We made a commitment to cut our CO2 emissions in half by 2025 and we are on track to make this a reality. This strategy is the next push to make that happen but also a renewed commitment to our residents to help tackle fuel poverty and identify new opportunities for renewable energy production.
“Creating new renewable energy sources will have a large number of benefits including helping towards increasing the security of the UK’s energy supply – something which is a real concern as a number of power stations are coming to the end of their lives. It will also be better for the environment reducing carbon emissions and creating more jobs and expertise in the area by using local companies.”
As part of Your Energy Sussex – a County Council-led partnership between local councils and construction company Carillion – a range of schemes are already underway. These include solar panels being fitted on council offices and schools as well as some social housing to provide low-cost electricity for tenants.
One of the most recent milestones was the opening of the County Council’s solar farm located on 25 acres of land east of Tangmere Airfield.
The electricity produced, which is enough to power 1,500 homes, is sold back into the National Grid earning £13.8 million over 20 years.
Further work is now taking place by the County Council alongside its partners to scope out what possibilities there are in West Sussex and how they can be developed.
For more information on the 2016 to 2020 Energy Strategy, visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/energystrategy.