United Utilities’ solar power plan for Chorley waste treatment site

Solar plan

Solar plan

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A new solar park could be created in Chorley.

United Utilities has applied to Lancashire County Council for the scheme, on land at Chorley Waste Water Treatment Works.

The company says the development would generate the equivalent amount of energy per year to power more than 230 homes, but says it will be used to meet the electrical needs of the treatment site.

In turn, United Utilities says investing in renewable technologies will help maintain or reduce bills for customers.

The site at Common Bank Lane in the town is owned by United Utilities and used for “operational purposes”.

In a supporting statement submitted to the council, the organisation said the solar park would save more than 10,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over a 25-year life span.

It said: “The proposed development would have an installed generating capacity of 1,008 kWp (1.08 MW), which is anticipated to generate approximately 965 MWh per annum of electricity, which is equivalent to the electrical needs of more than 230 houses.”

The statement said the company, along with others, had been challenged by the Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat) to maintain or reduce the public’s water and waste bills.

It said: “The energy which UU uses to provide drinking water and waste water services, has increased by a multiple of 2.5 times in real terms in the last ten years.

“By investing in renewable technologies such as solar, this protects the business and hence end users from energy price inflation, therefore contributing towards maintaining or reducing bills.”

It said the use of renewable energy at the Chorley Waste Water Treatment Works would save about 415 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

United Utilities has applied for the park to be built under “permitted development” rules, which means planning permission would not be required.

The company has asked Lancashire County Council to grant a lawful development certificate, to confirm that can take place.

A decision will be made under delegated powers.