West Suffolk Council is to take a significant step toward cutting carbon emissions at its sites across the district, with £1.8m of works now underway.
The council is committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030 as well as supporting residents and businesses through schemes such as the Green Home Grant Local Authority Delivery scheme, Solar for Business and the Greener Business Grant.
Earlier this year, as part of its delivery of its Climate Change Action Plan, the council secured £1.43m grant from the government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme and agreed to invest a further £370,000 in renewable energy technologies and energy saving measures at some of its key sites.
Work that will save or offset a total of 124.95 tonnes of carbon emissions is being carried out over the next month to deliver on these environmental improvements.
335 solar panels to be installed at Vicon House in Western Way, Bury St Edmunds, saving 45 tonnes of carbon emissions per year;
128 solar panels to be installed at Provincial House, in High Street, Haverhill, saving 17 tonnes of carbon emissions per year;
256 additional solar panels to be installed at Mildenhall Hub, Sheldrick Way, Mildenhall, saving an additional 35 tonnes of carbon emissions per year;
A battery energy storage system at West Suffolk House, in Bury St Edmunds, which take the excess electricity generated from existing solar panels at the building and use it to supply power during peak demand. It means even in the event of a power cut, the site will have an uninterrupted power supply, while it will generate an income by selling renewable energy to the National Grid. It also adds capacity for additional renewable energy generation to be installed in the nearby area, helping further reduce carbon emissions. This will save at least nine tonnes of carbon emissions;
Air source heat pumps to replace gas boilers at Bury St Edmunds bus station and Nowton Park visitor centre saving three tonnes of carbon emissions per year;
New glazing at Provincial House, Haverhill, to reduce heat loss, saving 8.65 tonnes of carbon emissions per year.
The measures will eventually deliver financial savings as well with around £80,000 a year expected to be saved.
Andy Drummond, Cabinet Member for Regulatory and Environment, said: “We are committed to tackling climate change here in West Suffolk. As part of our action plan, we are investing in renewable energy and other energy saving measures at sites we own across the district.
“This is on top of the work we have already done to invest in renewable energy including one of the largest council owned solar farms in the UK, some 50 electric vehicle charging points with more planned across the district, plus using a green energy supplier for all of our electricity across all of our office sites. This is about investing in all of our futures, for our residents, our businesses and for a cleaner tomorrow.”