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Bromsgrove council commits to renewables

Bromsgrove District Council has reconfirmed its commitment to a renewable solar energy project in Aston Fields.

The announcement comes amid uncertainty over the future of national solar energy schemes.

The scheme, to add solar panels to the roof of the council’s depot in Aston Road, which houses waste and recycling operations, was approved by town planners last September.

Reviewing the project, in light of possible reductions in the amount of money the government will pay for the power it generates, the council’s portfolio holder for planning and regeneration Councillor Kit Taylor confirmed the scheme will still achieve its goals, and represents good value for residents.

Coun Taylor said: “Whatever the outcome of the government’s legal process, money was never the main motivation for installing solar panels on our building.

“The environmental benefits of renewable energy are clear, and it helps reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. It’s also the case that this investment will still save money.”

Solar panels are set to be installed under the government’s Feed-in Tariff scheme. However, proposed changes to the scheme are currently subject to legal challenges.

If changes are enacted, the council’s scheme would pay for itself in around 11 years as opposed to the originally expected six years, which is calculated at current electricity prices.

With prices predicted to increase over time, the payback time may be even shorter.

And once the panels have paid for themselves, the council still expects to make an income of around £76,000 over a 25-year period.

Residents and town businesses considering taking up their own solar generation scheme, can contact the council for impartial advice.