Swindon’s solar farm to power rubbish centre

Swindon Borough Council expects to generate an additional income of around £200,000 a year, thanks to a new circular economy project. A new solar power plant that is currently under […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Swindon Borough Council expects to generate an additional income of around £200,000 a year, thanks to a new circular economy project.

A new solar power plant that is currently under construction is to power the household waste recycling centre in Swindon.

Public Power Solutions (PPS), owned by the council, is developing the 2.5MW project on the former landfill site adjacent to the recycling centre at Cheney Manor.

The project is to receive renewable electricity subsidies from the government as well as save money on the costs of operating the plant.

It is expected to bring benefits totalling £200,000 a year for the council.

The recycling centre houses the UK’s first Solid Recovered Fuel Plant (SRF) for municipal waste, which is now diverting 97% of the town’s domestic rubbish from landfill.

Sean Magee, Head of Waste Solutions at PPS, said: Being able to operate our SRF plant using solar energy from Barnfield is truly an innovative step forward in our sustainability. Not only is this the right thing to do, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, it will also benefit us financially by bringing down the running costs of the plant.

“We’re also looking at further technology development such as energy storage (batteries) so that even when light levels are low we can still operate the plant with renewable energy.”

The council aims to install 200MW of renewable energy capacity by 2020.

It is also building a 5MW solar farm in Blunsdon after a successful bond offer.