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Clean energy projects capitalising on county assets

Cambridgeshire County Council is embarking on a couple of exciting energy projects which will transform the way its closed landfill assets are utilised.

Stanground and Woodston Clean Energy Projects

Cambridgeshire County Council is embarking on a couple of exciting energy projects which will transform the way its closed landfill assets are utilised.

The two innovative projects being developed are currently at an early, pre-planning application stage of development, and the Council’s Energy Investment Team are engaging with local residents and businesses to gather their views on the proposals in order to inform the design of the projects and to inform further studies.

These studies will be used to support a planning application in the coming months, as the projects will potentially transform currently unusable, closed landfills into energy generating and storage sites. Both closed landfill sites, located in Woodston and Stanground in Peterborough, will generate and store energy via solar panels and battery storage. The use of the land in this manner, if it goes ahead, will be one of the first of its kind in the U.K.

For the design and delivery of the projects, the Council’s Energy Investment team are working closely with design and build contractor Bouygues E & S.  For the Stanground site, a 2.25MW Solar PV ground mounted array, together with a 10MW battery storage system for demand side response (DSR) is proposed. For Woodston, a much smaller site, a tailored 3MW Battery Storage for DSR services is planned. The battery storage will act as a relief valve on the national grid, absorbing electricity at times of excess generation and releasing it back into the grid when needed.

Revenue from the energy generated and services provided by the project will be used to help fund crucial services within the County Council.

County Council staff, along with engineering partners Bouygues Energies & Services, will be holding three information evenings to talk to local residents and businesses about the two projects. These sessions provide an opportunity for residents to understand the proposals and shape what is formally put forwards in a planning application.

The information evenings will take place at Stanground Sports Centre adjacent to Stanground Academy (PE7 3BY) on:

  • Monday 21 January: 7.30pm-8.45pm
  • Wednesday 23 January: 7.30pm-8.45pm
  • Monday 28 January: 7.30pm-8.45pm

If you are unable to attend the sessions, find out more on the MLEI website or direct any questions to the team on: [email protected] 

For further details about the two projects, please see the Committee Report that went to the Commercial and Investment Committee, agenda item 4 from Friday 14 September 2018: https://tinyurl.com/yahs8olv

Background information

During 2018, for the first time, the UK produced enough renewable electricity to supply electricity for three days in a row without burning coal. This is a positive result of Government energy policy, supporting the development of clean energy like solar parks and off-shore wind while helping the UK to become more energy self-sufficient.

Advances in technology have also helped.  For instance battery storage now allows renewable energy to be stored and supplied when it is needed, not just when it is sunny or windy. Government is promoting clean energy and has produced a Clean Growth Strategy encouraging Local Authorities and businesses to deliver improvements to our energy system. Regulation now also allows Local Authorities to generate and sell clean electricity. 

Since 2014, Cambridgeshire County Council has been assessing the suitability of its assets for hosting clean energy projects. As a result the Energy Investment team are currently considering the potential to transform closed landfills, located in Stanground (PE7 3BD)and Woodston (PE7 8FZ), to generate and store energy.  Aerial images of both sites are included on the next page.

At Stanground, a solar farm of 2.25 Megawatts electrical generating capacity (over an 8.1 hectare site), and a battery storage system housed in two shipping containers, is proposed. This will generate electricity equivalent to that used by around 650 homes. The team recognise that a field of solar panels has a visual impact on residents and will be working to minimise this during the design phase. For the smaller Woodston site, a battery storage system in two shipping containers is planned.  The system will allow the Council to provide services to the National Grid in exchange for payments. 

Though the two sites are located within Peterborough, both are owned by Cambridgeshire County Council. Peterborough City Council will be the local authority determining the planning application and the County Council has involved Peterborough City Council officers in conversations throughout the project scoping process. 

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