We are committed to developing a secure, affordable and sustainable energy supply and making use of energy from renewable sources. This is set out in the West Sussex Energy Strategy.
The County Council generates renewable energy from its land and buildings to reduce energy costs and its impact on the environment in support of the authority’s pledge to try to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2030.
We currently own and operate two solar farms which make use of unused, low-grade land to generate renewable electricity and an income for the County Council. Some of the electricity is used to power our own buildings.
Tangmere solar farm
This opened in 2015 on the site of the former Tangmere Airfield. The 18,000 solar panels at the 5MW solar farm generate enough zero carbon electricity to power 1,500 homes.
It will generate £13.8 million from feed-in-tariffs and electricity sales during the lifetime of the project.
Westhampnett solar farm
When this site opened in October 2018, it became the first publicly owned solar farm to be developed with large, on-site batteries. They are used to store surplus energy generated by the 26,000 panels at the 7.4MW solar farm and release it to the grid when it is needed during peak periods.
The solar farm is built on a former landfill site that had no alternative use due to the presence of methane gas.
We have installed solar panels on more than 80 of our schools to help them reduce their energy costs and impact on the environment. The systems range in size from 15 to 250 kilowatts and have a total combined clean energy generation capacity equivalent to Tangmere solar farm.
Further proposals for renewable energy and energy storage projects are under development. They include a large energy storage facility on the former waste site at Halewick Lane, Sompting which will become the secure location for large, grid-scale batteries in 2021.
This site forms part of the County Council’s involvement in SmartHubs, which is a Government funded project to develop a smart local energy system in the county.