Solar farm scheme is welcomed

Reporter:

Staff reporter (Border Counties)

A SOLAR farm on an Oswestry waste site has been welcomed.

Green Party member Councillor Duncan Kerr says Shropshire Council’s plans to develop the green-energy sources on former waste sites, including Maesbury Tip, can have multiple benefits.

The site is one of four that was expected to go before the unitary authority’s Environment and Services Scrutiny Committee yesterday.

Cllr Kerr said: “I would welcome any investment in solar panels and renewable energy.

“It is good to reduce our carbon footprint, but it is also good to have our own supply of energy.”

He added: “It is also good because it creates jobs and doesn’t cause concern like wind energy, but it has to be on brownfield sites.”

The report states the Maesbury site, which would cost £2 million over its 20-year lifespan but would generate £2.5m in profit, has the greatest potential.

The other sites include Sleap, near Wem, Ruckley, just south of Shrewsbury, and Boars Den in Shrewsbury, and it is hoped that in turn the farms can help to cover the budget hole faced by the authority.

The investigations come after Shropshire Council made £276,000 in utility costs and £450,000 from the feed in tariff over the past four years from its existing solar panels, with more due to be installed on its headquarters at Shirehall.

The council also has a number of eco-friendly biomass boilers based at The Centre in Oswestry and the Ellesmere Boathouse.

Yesterday’s meeting was expected to scrutinise the report and request further feedback in the autumn.

Steph Jackson, Shropshire Council’s head of commercial services, said: “At this present time, the work the teams are doing in relation to exploring the generation of green energy is very much at feasibility stage. 

“The former Maesbury Tip is on Maesbury Road, Oswestry.”

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