Warrington first UK council to produce own electricity

Warrington Borough Council has signed two solar deals with Gridserve that will see it become it the first UK local authority to produce all its own electricity.

Gridserve announced on Thursday the completion and hand over of “the UK’s most advanced solar farm” at York to the Warrington council.

In addition to the York project, Warrington Borough Council is also buying a second solar farm at Hull, which is due to be handed over early next year.

Gridserve will operate and maintain both projects over their lifetimes.

Gridserve said Warrington Borough Council expects the two projects to generate millions of pounds in profits every year and generate an operating surplus of over £100 million pounds over 30 years to invest in essential services.

Electricity from the York hybrid solar farm will be sold on the open market while Hull will supply all the council’s energy needs.

The deal will make it the first local authority to produce all its own electricity.

Warrington Borough Council leade Russ Bowden, said: “The completion of this groundbreaking project is a huge milestone for the council.

“This investment strengthens our commitment to tackle the climate emergency, and will also help us secure our energy supply, give us control over our energy prices, and contribute to reducing fuel poverty.

“At the same time, the solar farm is an important part of our ‘invest to save’ programme, and we expect it to generate an operating surplus of millions of pounds that can be ploughed back into delivering vital council services.

“We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Gridserve on this cutting-edge scheme and we are proud to have delivered the UKs most advanced solar farm.

“It’s great news for Warrington and also sets the bar for other local authorities in what can be achieved by working with the right partners, with a shared ambition.”

Gridserve CEO Toddington Harper said: “It’s our collective responsibility to prevent runaway climate change and protect species, so let’s be the change and make it happen.

“Projects like this, which also require no government subsidy whatsoever, demonstrate that the UK can meet its net zero obligations well before 2050 and enable us to move the needle in delivering radical carbon reductions within the next 10-years.

“We’ve completely rethought the solar model to maximise value, and we’ve now demonstrated that we have what it takes to make projects like this a reality.

“To replicate this success, we are now looking to partner with additional landowners, developers, and to acquire project rights.”