Home » Exeter’s £3.5m solar farm and battery storage plant powers up

Exeter’s £3.5m solar farm and battery storage plant powers up

by Sion Geschwindt

Exeter’s solar farm and battery storage facility has gone live and is now powering the council’s electric fleet of vehicles, recycling centre and offices with green energy.

The £3.5m Water Lane Solar Park at Marsh Barton features 3,700 solar panels which creates 1.2MW of clean energy. The assciated battery facility is capable of storing 2MW and provides flexibility between peak generation and peak usage.

The project is the first of its kind in the region and delivers a further step towards the City Council’s ambition of becoming net zero carbon by 2030.

Part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the facility is built on an inactive landfill site and is now feeding power directly to the Council’s nearby Materials Reclamation Facility.

There are 28 chargers ranging from 40kW to 11kW in capacity are located at the Exton Road depot which are charging the Council’s fleet of electric vehicles, including three electric refuse vehicles.

The cost savings over all sites included in the project are estimated to be £256,000 per annum.

The carbon saving is estimated to be 580 tonnes per annum, overall a 72% reduction across all sites included in the project.

As well as cutting carbon emissions the project also has the benefit of increasing energy security and providing protection against price increases, with savings helping to support Council services.

Cllr Duncan Wood, Lead Councillor for Climate Change, said the ability to generate green energy at a time of rapidly rising fuel costs was hugely important for the city.

The aim is to replace all of the City Council’s diesel waste and recycling fleet with electric powered vehicles within the next six years and provide a carbon neutral operation.

Read next: Welsh government trials ‘communal’ solar tech

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