Huge multi-million pound solar farm could be built in Worthing

A solar farm the size of eight football pitches in east Worthing is a major part of plans to make Adur and Worthing carbon neutral within ten years.

Tuesday, 1st December 2020, 4:07 pm

A former landfill site north of Brooklands Park has been earmarked for development by Adur and Worthing Councils, which pledged to reduce its carbon emissions to net zero by 2030.

Investing in solar technology on council-owned land could reduce the councils’ carbon emissions by up to a third, according to a report to its joint strategic committee.

A study has found around 5MW of electricity could be produced from such initiatives – enough to power around 1,500 homes – with 3MW of that coming from the east Worthing solar farm.

The potential site for a solar farm in Worthing. Pic: Google SUS-200112-160438001

The 6.7Ha site south west of St Paul’s Avenue and St Luke’s Close could be developed for £2,423,200, according to the study, which would pay itself back within 16.5 years.

The farm would form the cornerstone of a solar strategy that would also include more than £700,000 worth of solar panels on the rooftops of council-owned buildings and an investment of more than £1,750,000 in solar car ports at council car parks.

The councils declared a climate emergency in 2019 and adopted its Carbon Neutral Plan in December of that year.

Plans to switch to electric heating systems and fully electric or hydrogen vehicles would also go towards reducing the carbon deficit.

According to the councils’ report, reducing electricity bills through solar panels could save around £14,400 in year one, rising as electricity costs increase.

A further 15MW of solar power could be required to offset the councils’ carbon emissions, which could be achieved through investments in third party developments in other areas.

Feasibility studies are planned to take place into the proposals next year.

The councils’ joint strategic committee will discuss the plans this evening (December 1).