Portsmouth could soon press ahead with a huge £30m solar panel rollout across the city

DISCUSSIONS have been held with organisations across Portsmouth as the city council presses ahead with plans to fund tens of millions of pounds' worth of solar projects.

By Joshua Wright
Monday, 18th July 2022, 5:16 pm
Updated Monday, 18th July 2022, 5:54 pm

Tomorrow councillors will be asked to approve the £30m low carbon projects fund aimed at funding for-profit projects through new borrowing.

Cabinet member for environment Kimberly Barrett said the fund was a 'really good opportunity' and that each project would pay for itself and provide a financial return.

'This is such an important thing to be able to do,' she said at her decision-making meeting on Monday. 'Obviously, we're doing everything we can as a council, especially with the target that we have to hit by 2030.

Solar panels

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'We are in talks with people and this gives us the opportunity to not just help ourselves as a council but to look outwards and help other people as well.

'It's one of the biggest projects and things that could happen this year in the coming years, and it's going to benefit everyone in this city.'

Among the projects set to be included are the £11m solar and battery installations at Lakeside business park, which the council's head of energy services Andrew Waggott said was almost ready to start; a £160,000 roof-mounted project at Mayfield School; and a £400,000 scheme for an unnamed industrial estate.

The fund would be made up solely of money borrowed through the Public Works Loan Board which no longer allows councils to borrow for investment schemes, unless they are green energy schemes.

A cabinet report said income from the projects it funds would be used to 'cross subsidise' the purchase of land and environmental projects.