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Telford & Wrekin Council cashes in on solar farm

Telford | News | Published:

It's only been switched on for six months – but Telford's solar farm has produced enough electricity to power nearly 500 homes for a year, new figures show.

An aerial picture of the council's solar farm at Wheat Leasows

The 15,000-panel solar farm at Wheat Leasows was switched on at the start of the year and is on course to generate a £150,000 profit during its first 12 months.

Telford & Wrekin Council decided to build the solar farm as a way of generating income, with the money set aside for adult social care.

Councillor Shaun Davies, cabinet member for business, neighbourhood and customer services said: "So far it is on course to bring in about half a million pounds of income a year which, once you take out the costs of the solar farm, means we will get about £150,000 a year profit, which was our target.

"That is being used to invest in adult social care, so about 10,000 care hours a year is what the solar farm pays for.

"That £150,000 profit is guaranteed every year for the next 25 years.

"We are very pleased with how it is going so far. We are only the second council in the country to have a solar farm and it is telling that there are so many other councils and organisations across the country coming to see how it is done.

"Telford has really led the way in this and it is not just about finances, it is about being green and looking after our environment and having a sustainable energy supply which is really important to us as well."

Meanwhile there will be an open day on July 2 for councils, universities and companies from across the country to visit the site.

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The council is charging each organisation £120 to cover the cost of the event.

On the same day, Telford & Wrekin residents will be able to visit the site between 10am and 11am – there is no charge but they must first register by emailing solar.farm@telford.gov.uk

Meanwhile, controversial plans for a solar farm on the land close to Whitton, near Ludlow were thrown out by Shropshire councillors for a second time at a meeting earlier this week. Campaigners are currently fighting plans for a 15,300-panel development at Moor Farm, near Baschurch.

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