The sun will power South Devon sewage

Solar power will go to water treatment plant (image courtesy: Raysonho (Wikimedia Commons)

Let there be light

A new solar energy farm in fields at Churston will power Torbay’s biggest sewage works.

Torbay Council is poised to rubber-stamp a £2.75 million investment in the development next to the Brokenbury water treatment plant.

Members of the council’s cabinet are likely to give it the go-ahead at a meeting on Tuesday.

The scheme was originally agreed more than four years ago, but manay local people are worried about the visual impact of the 17-acre solar farm.

The plan is for South West Water, as an ‘end user’, to buy the sustainable power generated by the solar panels from the council for the next 25 years, allowing the town hall to recoup the cost.

Officers say the solar farm would be a positive step towards meeting the targets set out in the authority’s climate change strategy. It would reduce the bay’s carbon footprint by nearly 460 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, based on the average sunlight over Churston.

It may even generate a surplus which the council can sell to the national grid.

Funding for the project was originally approved in May 2020, allocating money from the council’s ‘economic growth fund’. However, that fund no longer exists, and the decision has been brought back to the cabinet to be resolved.

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