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Solar panels at ex-landfill site to power recycling centre

Plans are underway for a solar farm on a former landfill site in Swindon that would provide energy to operate a nearby household waste recycling centre (HWRC).

Public Power Solutions (PPS), a company wholly owned by Swindon Borough Council, is considering the site off Galton Way for a facility to produce between 2.5MW and 4MW of power.

The electricity generated would be plugged straight into Waterside HWRC, across a rail track. It is hoped that batteries will store sufficient energy when there is too much cloud cover and at night.

The council has already granted outline planning permission for solar farms on a number of redundant plots, so full planning permission is not needed.

It is one of a number of initiatives being considered by PPS, which is charged with maximising the potential of renewable energy technologies across the local authority area.

The council has set a target for 200MW of renewable energy capacity by 2020.

In one development, residents are investing jointly with the council in a planned solar farm in the Wroughton area.

Swindon Community Solar Farm will generate a return for investors and funding for community projects during the next 20 years. It is being paid for through investment in Council Solar Bonds, said to be the first of its kind, with a minimum stake of £5.

Sixty-five per cent of the profits from the solar farm would go towards local community initiatives, with the remaining 35% to investors and the council.

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