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.
We are working with Your Energy Sussex, the local council energy partnership, to identify council-owned sites suitable for renewable energy generation.
In January 2017, we secured planning permission to build a 7.4 megawatt solar farm on a closed landfill site adjacent to the A27 at Westhampnett. The solar farm, which will generate enough clean energy to power 2,400 households, is expected to be operational by the end of 2017.
Latest news: October 2017
Residents will see the following work taking place during October and November:
- The installation of the foundations, mounting frames and solar panels will be complete by the end of October.
- Work to connect the solar farm to the local electricity grid will begin on Monday 30 October. A cable will be laid from the northeast corner of the site near Dairy Lane to the connection point, which is located 400m northeast of Westhampnett on Stane Street. Temporary traffic lights will be used on the Stane Street section between Thursday 9 November and Friday 15 December, which may lead to some traffic delays, particularly at peak times.
- Work to improve the existing drainage ditches in line with the agreed planning conditions will be complete by the end of October.
The solar farm will be located on the closed landfill site at Westhampnett, which is north of the A27 between Coach Road and Dairy Lane. Stane Street and Westhampnett are located immediately to the north.
By developing a solar farm at Westhampnett, we will be making efficient use of a closed landfill site that is not publicly accessible and currently has no alternative uses due to the presence of methane gas. The site is also located close to a local grid connection, which enables the electricity to be easily and cost-effectively exported.
More than 26,000 solar panels will be installed on the site, providing a 7.4 megawatt generation capacity, which is enough to power 2,400 homes with zero-carbon energy.
The clean electricity generated at Westhampnett will be used by us to reduce our energy costs and carbon emissions. On-site batteries will also enable surplus energy to be stored and sold to the National Grid when demand is highest.
The solar farm will be in place for approximately 20 years. Once it is no longer operational, the solar panels, mounting systems, cabling and other infrastructure can be easily removed and the site restored, in line with the agreed planning conditions.
This will be the second solar farm to be developed on our land after the 5 megawatt Tangmere solar farm began operation in October 2015. This site produces enough low-carbon electricity to power 1,500 households, paying for itself in less than ten years and generating £13.8 million in income over 20 years.
In line with the approach taken at the Tangmere solar farm, work will be undertaken to improve the ecological value of the site. This includes work to protect native species before and during construction and improve their habitats once the solar farm is in place.
Surveys have been carried out to understand the impact on biodiversity and, in consultation with ecologists, a number of measures planned.
Further information can be found on the West Sussex County Council Planning portal (Westhampnett solar farm).
The site working hours are Monday-Friday, 8.00am-6.00pm, and 8.00am-1.00pm on Saturdays.