Cardiff’s biggest rubbish tip could be transformed into a £4m solar farm when it is finally closed next year.
The 120 acre Lamby Way Recycling Centre in Tremorfa has the potential to be a 25 megawatt solar farm, according to council-commissioned feasibility study.
It is one of a number of renewable energy schemes being looked at by Cardiff council to reduce the city’s carbon footprint and slash energy bills.
The tip is due to be closed and “capped” when the Viridor waste incinerator at Trident Park in Splott starts operating next year.
The council’s environment boss now hopes to cover the eyesore with tens of thousands of PV panels to turn it into a massive electricity-generating solar farm.
A business case has been drawn-up based on five megawatt solar farm spanning 20 acres and costing between £3m and £4m to install. A much smaller £81,000 project to install PV panels on the recycling’s centre’s roofs is also being investigated.
The council hopes it will take advantage of the UK Government’s feed-in tariff (Fit) scheme and take just under seven years for the initial investment to pay for itself.
It will also reduce the city’s carbon footprint by an estimated 2,361tonnes, according to the study, which will be considered by the Labour cabinet today.
Other green energy schemes being looked at include:
A collective energy buying scheme – Cyd Cymru – between Cardiff and the Vale councils to negotiate a better deal with gas and electricity suppliers;
Developing plans for a £32m district heat network, connected to the Viridor incinerator, that could pipe cheap heat under to homes and businesses;
Work with Bristol council on plans to set up a special purpose vehicle company (SPV) or partnership to steer the respective cities’ energy programmes.
Councillor Ashley Govier, cabinet member for environment, was impressed on a recent visit the Westmill Solar Co-operative, located on 30 acres between Swindon and Oxford.
The scheme was launched last summer and raised £4m from 1,650 members who took up a public share offer on the promise of an 11% yearly return.
Coun Govier said he expected concerns from residents living near Lamby Way, but said a solar farm would be a “big improvement” on the current tip.