Solar farm mooted for Failsworth

Oldham Council is to submit plans for a solar farm on disused football fields at Wrigley Head, as part of its strategy to become the greenest borough in Greater Manchester.

Under the proposals, the solar farm would produce 900 kilowatts of power per day, with electricity generated from the site used initially to supply the council’s requirements.

The farm would add to the 129kw of rooftop panels already in operation at Tommyfield Market in Oldham town centre.

The council is consulting on the proposals until 24 February and expects to submit a planning application for the scheme by the end of this month.

If approved, building work on site could begin next year, it said. A developer has yet to be appointed but the council will issue a tender for this. The planning consultant is Aecon.

Cllr. Abdul Jabbar, deputy leader of Oldham Council, said: “Over the last ten years, the council has been forced to make millions of pounds in savings, so we need to come up with imaginative and economically sound ideas that benefit the borough and its people, but don’t rely on traditional energy sources.

“This solar farm would help us become more energy-sufficient in a time when fuel bills are continually rising.”

Cllr. Liz Jacques, chair of Failsworth and Hollinwood district executive committee, added: “This site has not been used for a long time, so it would be good to see it brought back into use for such a pioneering scheme.”

Oldham aims to be ‘carbon-neutral’ by 2025. Last month, it unveiled plans to redevelop 160 acres of green space at Snipe Clough into an urban farm and eco-facility, with offices, greenhouses and storage facilities powered by bio-mass and solar energy.

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