London Borough looking to invest in renewable energy

Havering Council is looking to make a “significant investment” in renewable energy, as part of its latest budget plans.

The London borough launched its budget consultation on 5 November with plans to save the local authority £24m over the next three years.

The proposals include making a “significant investment” in renewable energy by creating wind turbines and solar parks. 

According to the budget report that went before the cabinet on 4 November, this would allow the Council to sell energy back to the National Grid generating an income to help protect public services. 

“A project like this would generate a considerable long-term return for the Council,” the report states. 

“It would reduce energy costs for residents, provide a local energy supply and deliver enormous environmental benefits compared to traditional energy generators.”

The council is looking at building an 18MW solar park on former farmland at Oakhill and another 4MW at Gerpins Lane.

It is also considering building a 900 KW wind turbine at Bretons on land adjacent to Barking and Dagenham and a similar sized wind turbine off Ferry Lane in Rainham.

But the report notes these proposals are dependent on borough wide wind turbine consultation. 

“In Havering, we are proud of managing record budget reductions, while protecting the services that matter the most to residents,” said Council Leader, Cllr Roger Ramsey.

“The pattern of demand for Council services is increasing, while the pressure to reduce expenditure is unrelenting. To make further savings, while protecting the most vulnerable in our society, requires us to set challenging targets and think innovatively on how we can meet them.” 

The budget consultation runs until 17 December.

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues