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First council-owned solar farm switched on

The first council-owned solar farm in Sussex will be switched on today. The site in Tangmere near Chichester will generate low carbon electricity for the National Grid. The council says it will provide enough energy to power fifteen hundred homes.

First council-owned solar farm to be switched on in Sussex Credit: PA

Electricity produced by the solar panels at the 25-acre site will be sold back into the National Grid and will earn £13.8 million over 20 years through the Government's feed-in-tariff scheme. The project cost £5.2 million and will pay for itself within ten years.

The project has been developed by Your Energy Sussex, the West Sussex-led council partnership working with Carillion to reduce carbon emissions, save money and boost the local economy.

Plans for solar farm rejected

Developers wanted to build solar panels on this farmland at Tomkins Farm Credit: ITV Meridian

Campaigners are celebrating after planners turned down an application to build 20,000 solar panels on farmland in Sussex.

Villagers claimed the proposed development on Tomkins Farm in Chailey near Lewes would damage the countryside.

Developers say it would power more than a thousand homes and they may appeal against the decision.

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  1. David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

Bright future for solar investment?

The owners of a solar farm in Kent are offering local people the chance to invest in the scheme. It's an attempt to win round sceptics in Paddock Wood who might otherwise not be so keen on the idea of thousands of solar panels in a nearby field. But some in the area are still unconvinced including the town council.

David Johns reports, speaking to Solar Project Manager Mike Rogers, and Paddock Wood Town Councillor Sarah Hamilton.