**PLEASE NOTE: All media should be aware that the pre-election period ahead of May’s Somerset County Council Elections starts on Monday 21 March. After this time we will not be using Councillor quotes in our press releases and would ask you to please remove the quote from this release if publishing after that date. Publishing media are reminded to adhere to their own codes of practice for the pre-election period to help ensure a fair election process.**
A former landfill site near Bridgwater could be used to generate clean energy and save hundreds of tonnes of carbon a year under plans outlined by Somerset County Council this week.
On Wednesday, Members of the Council’s Cabinet voted to start a procurement process to appoint a contractor to build a new solar park on the Saltlands landfill site, in the Chilton Trinity area of Bridgwater.
Landfill operations at the site ceased in the 1980s and it is not suitable for most kinds of development. However, as a solar park it could generate 3,635,000 kilowatt hours of clean, renewable energy per year, save 805 tonnes of carbon per year, and play a key part in the Council’s ambitions to achieve carbon neutrality in Somerset by 2030.
Cllr Mandy Chilcott, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Resources, said: “This is a new and exciting project for Somerset. The use of a landfill site is a win-win. It gives the council a yield from an otherwise unusable piece of land – all while making a real contribution to the generation of clean energy in the county.
“At a time of rising prices and energy insecurity this council is doing its bit to reduce Somerset’s reliance on fossil fuels.”
Cllr David Hall, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Planning and Community Infrastructure, added: “This decision is a big step forward for these ambitious plans to transform a redundant site into a much-needed solar park.
“We’re committed to helping Somerset become carbon neutral by 2030 and generating our own clean energy in this way will make a significant contribution to our carbon saving targets.”
You can find a link to the decision papers at Somerset County Council.
Notes to editors