Solar Park, creative commons pic by OhWeh

The leader of Cheshire East Council is urging the council to look into installing solar panels at some of its car parks across the borough, writes Belinda Ryan.

Cheshire East is about to start work on a large-scale solar farm – which will generate renewable energy and reduce carbon emissions – on land next to the composting plant at Leighton Grange Farm in Crewe.

That 4.1 megawatt solar farm, which will produce enough to power about 1,200 houses, will help provide renewable energy to power Cheshire East’s composting plant and also put green energy back into the national grid.

Now, after Crewe councillor Steve Hogben (Lab) asked whether the council would be installing solar farms on its public car parks to generate power and income, council leader Sam Corcoran (Lab) said he is hoping this is something Cheshire East would look at doing.

““Bentley have done it, Crewe Alexandra Football Club are doing it,” the council leader told the Local Democracy Reporting Service after the meeting.

“It seems like a very good idea and it’s something that I think the council should be pursuing. It fits in with the carbon neutral ambitions and you make money out of it.”

He added there were plenty of car parks the council could look at across the borough.

Crewe Alex announced earlier this month that it has applied for planning permission to install panels at its main car park.

In an interview on the club’s website, director Tony Davison said: “It would make us energy sustainable.

“It would mean that we cover not only our own usage for the stadium, but also allow us to sell the excess energy to a third party and generate additional funds for the club in the long term.”

Mr Davison said there would also be benefits for the local community.

“It just seemed obvious to us that this would be an ideal location to put additional charging points in, again for the benefit of visitors on match day to charge their vehicles while they’re here, but also for local residents,” he said.

“It’s very difficult to install electric vehicle charging points when you’ve got terraced houses, which we have around here, so it occurred to us we could bring a community benefit by installing number of vehicle charging points which are available for public use.”

(Solar panels – pic under creative commons pic by OhWeh)

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