The Manchester Council is considering buying its own multi-million pound solar cell plant in its fight against climate change.
Later this month, council members will discuss the purchase of a 100-acre plot of land to help meet the criteria for reducing emissions.
If the town hall owned a photovoltaic system (PV), it would have greater security and control over energy and future costs.
READ MORE:Met Office weather forecast as temperatures are expected to reach 21C in Greater Manchester
The Council’s action plan on climate change aims to halve emissions by 2025.
The goal is for the city to become zero carbon by 2038.
A step towards opportunities for renewable energy on a large scale – e.g. A photovoltaic system – can make these goals a reality.
The farm would cost between £ 27m and £ 30m and would have a lifespan of up to 40 years.
It would not be in our region.
There are no suitable places in Greater Manchester for the yard that would measure 150 football pitches.
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The council says it has already maximized the potential for renewable energy in their own buildings – for example, the use of roof-mounted solar panels at the Forum in Wythenshawe.
Another option is also being considered – for the council to negotiate a power purchase agreement directly with a renewable energy plant.
By doing this, City Hall would be sure to know exactly where and how its energy is sourced and have control over the services received.
The recommendation from the public sector advisory body, Local Partnerships, is that the council should continue to examine a ‘two-track approach’ where they can own either or both of a photovoltaic system and have power purchase agreements in place until a decision is made.
The final decision is likely to be linked to whether a suitable location for the photovoltaic system is for sale at the right time.
Councilor Tracey Rawlins, executive member of the Environment Council of Manchester, said: “Some people will laugh at the idea that Manchester can invest in solar energy production.
“We are famous for many things, but even though our weather is actually better than its stereotypical image, wall-to-wall sunshine is not one of them.
“However, climate change is no joke, and we are determined to ensure that we take radical steps to maximize the Council’s use of renewable energy and help meet our goal of at least halving our direct emissions by 2025.
“We are determined to play our full role in reducing carbon emissions and limiting the effects of climate change.”
The possibilities will be discussed at the meeting of the Environment and Climate Committee on 14 October and the executive meeting on 20 October.