Forest Heath District Council purchases solar farm to boost revenue

Forest Heath District Council has announced it has purchased one of the largest council owned solar farms in the UK, in a move that is expected to bring in an annual income of up to £700,000.

The local authority bought the Toggam Farm based 12.4 MW solar service for £14.5 million, with a plan to use the revenue generated from the investment to help fund public services.

Commenting on the purchase, Councillor Stephen Edwards, the council's cabinet member for resources and performance, said: “The way councils are financed is changing – our main government grant will be scrapped by around 2020 and council tax doesn’t cover as much as people think. This means we have to look at new ways of investing to make money to pay for services.

“In the future, the solar farm could provide energy to West Suffolk councils’ offices and our leisure centres, helping us and our partners to save money on energy costs on top of the income it will bring in, while further down the line there may also be opportunities to benefit our communities as well, although this is dependent on the energy market.”