Solar farm

Our solar farm generates green energy and income which we use to help support the future delivery of council services in West Suffolk. As central government funding continues to reduce many councils are investing in projects which will deliver savings or an income as well as greater benefits for our communities and environment. This is part of our wider Community Energy Plan.

Best month for solar farm as council marks World Environment Day

It’s World Environment Day and West Suffolk Council’s solar farm has just recorded its best month so far in terms of the amount of renewable energy it is creating. The 12.4MW solar farm at Toggam Farm in Lakenheath, one of the largest council owned solar farms in the country, plugged in back in August 2016.

Since then it has been generating renewable electricity, sold to the National Grid, and alongside it the income to help fund day to day council services.

May saw it produce 2007MWh of electricity – its best performing month so far. That is the equivalent of powering 600 homes for an entire year. 

The sunny weather has seen the solar farm produce 27 percent more electricity than forecast for April and May, bringing with it £411 of income.

Over the last three years the amount generated by the solar farm has created more than £4million of income which after costs, has meant more than £1.2m has been pumped into public services.

The solar farm is just one of the many ways that the Council is helping the environment and making financial benefits for the public purse. 
At West Stow it has installed a 117kW ground source heat pump providing renewable heat and cooling to replace an oil and electric heating system for the café, museum and collections buildings. The project achieves both environmental and financial savings.

Councillor John Griffiths said: “Our environment is important to us all, and while many of us have been working from home these past few months, our work to deliver on carbon savings, cut pollution, and generate income to pay for day to day services for residents and businesses across West Suffolk, continues.

“We continue to monitor and take action on air pollution, as we have done in Great Barton in partnership with the county council, earlier this year through the movement of a pedestrian crossing. Other partnership work improving electric vehicle infrastructure and reducing anti-idling had already begun prior to the lockdown restrictions and I look forward to this continuing as soon as is practical. 

“Friends of the Earth, named West Suffolk as one of the top areas in the UK for tackling climate change and supporting the environment late last year. Of course, there is more to be done which is why recognising and celebrating World Environment Day is so important.”

More details:

Electricity generation this year

Solar farm graph 2019 - 2020

Month Predicted amount (MWh) Actual amount generated (MWh)
April 2019 1329 1455
May 2019 1669 1693
June 2019 1745 1528
July 2019 1729 1691
August 2019 1432 1508
September 2019 1029 1239
October 2019 634 627
November 2019 330 318
December 2019 147 262
January 2020 253 277
February 2020 420 526
March 2020 850 1204
Total 11565 12328
Solar Farm Launch solar Farm launch 2Solar Farm launch 3