Leicestershire County Council is taking forward plans to finance and construct its own 10MW solar farm, which it hopes will generate £720,000 per year once completed while mitigating the council’s emissions by over 100%. Subject to approval, the scheme will be developed for £7.76 million on land owned by the council near the town of Quorn. It will be funded from the Asset Investment Fund as identified in the council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) 2018/19-2021/22. Along with the commercial units also under consideration by the council for rent, the entire scheme is expected to lead to an annual yield of 5.8% once business rates and operational and maintenance costs associated with the management of all four sites (£200,000 pa) are taken out.
Solar Power Portal 26th April 2018 read more »
One of the first councils to set up its own energy company has ditched the supplier in favour of a cheaper deal from British Gas. Bristol city council said it remained “fully behind” Bristol Energy but had to follow strict procurement rules, under which the start-up lost out to Britain’s biggest energy supplier. Peter Haigh, managing director of Bristol Energy, said that British Gas had “fractionally undercut” its offer. “It’s obviously disappointing but it’s a fair and competitive process,” he said. The Labour-run council set up the supplier in 2015 to provide it with extra income as well as to offer a “simple, fair and transparent alternative to the Big Six” suppliers. Other councils have pursued the policy, which has been endorsed by Labour nationally. In practice, the council has yet to receive any income from the supplier and is said to have put £17 million into the company, which fell to an £8.4 million loss in the year to March last year. The company said it always expected to be loss-making in its first few years and expects to “be self-funding from late 2020 and . . . start paying a return to the council from 2021”. Craig Cheney, cabinet member for finance on the council, said that many residents in the city had switched to Bristol Energy, which had saved customers more than £10 million, he said.
Times 27th April 2018 read more »