Thursday 23 May 2024
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Plans submitted for solar farm in Rushcliffe to power a Nottinghamshire prison

A Nottinghamshire prison could be powered by a new solar farm if plans are approved by councillors.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has applied to Rushcliffe Borough Council to install the solar farm at land next to HMP Whatton on New Lane in the village in a bid to reduce its carbon footprint.

It comes after the MoJ was awarded funding to invest in low carbon technologies “to help enable post Covid-19 recovery, reduce its carbon emissions and maximise the social and economic benefits for the UK when transitioning to net zero by 2050”.

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HMP Whatton has been identified as a “priority prison site” and would be the first prison to benefit from the scheme.

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The prison is home to around 800 men convicted of sex offences.

The farm is expected to meet up to 75 per cent of the site’s minimum daytime load and contribute to 10 per cent of the total prison yearly energy demands.

If approved, the panels will be built on 1.7 acres of grassland next to the prison and must be delivered by March 2022.

Planning documents state: “As the second largest central Government estate, accounting for more than 20 per cent of central Government’s total greenhouse gas emissions, MoJ is very clear on the important role it must play in meeting the net zero target, including working with Local Authorities to collaborate on priority Climate Emergency and Corporate Environmental initiatives.

“The MoJ are focusing some of their spend on the installation of ground mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on MoJ owned land across our prison estate to expedite the process of meeting these challenges and delivering the identified benefits.

“An initial feasibility exercise has been undertaken to prioritise prison sites where substantial benefit can be achieved both for the MoJ but also for the respective Local Authority in addressing their very own corporate environmental challenges.”

The plans will now be decided on by Rushcliffe Borough Council’s Planning Committee.

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