Warrington Borough Council has become the first local authority in the UK to produce all of its own electricity with the completion of a new hybrid solar farm.
At more than 88 acres, the 23 MWp Cirencester Hybrid Solar Farm is the first DC-coupled solar farm of this size in the UK and will produce enough energy to drive more than a hundred thousand electric cars from Land’s End to John o’ Groats.
Delivered through a partnership between the council and GRIDSERVE, the solar farm will be used to help provide net zero energy for Warrington’s fleet of all-electric buses, coming next year, while a hybrid solar farm in York – handed over in December 2019 – is providing energy which can be sold into the grid. A third site in Hull is supplying all of the council’s net zero energy needs.
Warrington Borough Council’s cabinet member for sustainability and climate change, Cllr Janet Henshaw, said: ‘The completion of Cirencester Hybrid Solar Farm is great news for Warrington. It will provide a huge boost to our ongoing work to tackle the climate emergency, reduce greenhouse emissions, and tackle fuel poverty in our borough. It will also provide enough net zero carbon energy to charge our fleet of all-electric buses when they are rolled-out next year.
‘Investing in subsidy-free developments has been a landmark achievement for the Council. Each project has proven to be a solid strategic decision to ensure the borough’s future energy security. We look forward to working with GRIDSERVE to ensure Cirencester Hybrid Solar Farm continues to generate optimal financial and environmental returns.’
Toddington Harper, GRIDSERVE CEO, said: ‘It is our collective responsibility to tackle the climate change emergency. Projects like Cirencester Hybrid Solar Farm require no government subsidy and deliver secure, affordable and plentiful energy. They demonstrate that the UK can meet its net zero obligations, and in partnership with Warrington Borough Council, enable us to deliver radical carbon reductions to move the needle on climate change in the fastest possible timeframes, and at the lowest cost.’