Gateshead Council's solar rollout initiative, including urban farms and canopies, continues.

Gateshead Council's solar rollout initiative, including urban farms and canopies, continues.

Gateshead Council has approved a programme of solar PV installations, including two urban solar farms.

With one situated on an unused 2.5 hectare site in the Baltic Quarter and one on vacant land next to Gateshead Stadium, the two farms will be able to produce 3MW.

The Council celebrates them as one of the first to be designed with a modular design, meaning that if the land is required for construction, it is "easier and cheaper" to move them to other sites.

In addition to the two farms, the approved plans also include the construction of solar canopies over car parking bays in locations such as the Gateshead Civic Centre, the installation of solar rooftops on new projects such as the Gateshead Quays Arena and the opportunity to install solar on new homes, which could produce about 600 kW across the site, by the developer of the Freight Depot housing site.

It is estimated that the expense of the entire initiative would be £ 4.3 million, with the Council submitting a grant application to the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme of the Government, including £ 3 million to finance urban solar farms.

The energy generated by buildings that are closed, such as schools during weekends and summer holidays, can be used to power other buildings, such as offices and leisure centers, by connecting the new solar developments to the Gateshead Energy Company network.

As it stands, at the Gateshead Energy Centre, 25 percent of the council's buildings use power provided by the council, with another 10 percent coming from the 2MW of solar built across 35 council buildings.

Councilor John McElroy, Member of the Cabinet for Transport and the Environment, said "These are ambitious proposals, and they are precisely the kinds of steps we need to help combat climate change."


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