Solar farms on council agenda

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SOLAR panels could become a common sight on the roofs of homes and businesses in east Durham if a green scheme gets the go ahead.

Durham County Council wants to tap into Government funding that rewards organisations which generate their own renewable electricity.

The authority is considering a range of options including working with developers to encourage the creation of solar farms, installing solar panels on council buildings and providing grants to homeowners wishing to install small-scale energy generators.

The proposals, which would enable the council to benefit from the Government’s ‘feed-in tariff’, will be discussed by cabinet members on Wednesday.

Cabinet members will be asked to give permission for land at Stella Gill, in Chester-le-Street, to be leased to a local solar panel manufacturer to develop a solar farm.

It is hoped that if successful, the pilot project would pave the way for similar schemes elsewhere in the county.

Other proposals include installing solar panels on council buildings and developing a loan scheme, which would see residents receiving loans to install micro-renewable energy sources, such as wind turbines and solar panels at their homes and businesses.