City embarks on solar energy deal

A £40m green energy deal with the City of London Corporation could provide a blueprint for local authorities seeking to reduce carbon emissions and cut costs.

The governing body of the Square Mile has signed a power purchase agreement with Voltalia to buy all the electricity produced by a new-build 95,000-panel 50MW solar farm in Dorset for 15 years.The deal, the first of its kind in the UK to be signed directly between a renewables producer and governing authority, will enable Voltalia to leverage cash to build the facility, while saving the City Corporation around £3m in energy costs.

The City of London says that the arrangement will allow cost certainty and avoid the risks involved with local authority-owned energy firms, following recent high-profile selloffs of loss-making council-owned companies in Nottingham and Bristol.

Jamie Ingham Clark, chair of the City of London Corporation’s Corporate Asset Sub-Committee, said: “This is a pioneering scheme which we hope will lead the way for local authorities across the UK. It means they can play their part in reducing emissions without the risks of owning their own energy firms or infrastructure and without the need for Government funding.”

The City Corporation has been sourcing 100 per cent renewable electricity through existing infrastructure since 2018, but the deal with Voltalia will enable the creation of new green infrastructure, reduce the need for fossil fuels and help meet green energy goals.

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