Wakefield Council planning to build two supersized solar farms to cut carbon footprint

An aerial view of solar mirrors. (Getty Images)
An aerial view of solar mirrors. (Getty Images)

Wakefield Council has revealed it’s planning to build two supersize solar energy farms, to slash its carbon footprint.

ssett and South Kirkby have been earmarked as the locations for the new farms, which could also create jobs and cash for the district.

If approved, the council says the energy farms could wipe out all carbon emissions from its buildings within 18 months.

Without them however, councillors have been warned that the local authority could fail to meet its ambition of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

Building the farms would be subject to planning permission being given at both sites.

The plans were revealed at a scrutiny meeting on Monday, by council officer Kevin Fisher.

Mr Fisher, from the authority’s property services team, said: “As a council we use between 50 and 53 giga watts (GW) per annum.

“So if we were to build those energy parks, in a utopian world, we’d be almost able to reduce our properties’ carbon footprint to zero in 18 months.

“We spend £67m in energy costs per annum, so they would also be cut, but there needs to be capital investment in that (the project) going forward.”

Several sites had been considered for the farms, including land by the village of Bottom Boat, to the east of Stanley.

But if all goes to plan, more energy parks could be created in years to come, in addition to the Ossett and South Kirkby sites.

Planning applications have yet to be submitted and it is yet to be confirmed whereabouts in each area the parks could be.

Mr Fisher acknowledged that process would not be straighforward, but added that surplus energy could be sold back to the public at a discounted price, as part of the council’s attack on fuel poverty.