Three solar farms could be taken in-house by borough council


TOWN Hall chiefs at Warrington Borough Council are currently considering taking in-house the three solar farms it owns.

The legal and financial options for such a move, will be discussed by the council’s cabinet, behind closed doors on Tuesday (May 21).

It would mean the council becoming an energy supplier– which it is legally entitled to do. This would open up the opportunity for the Hull solar farm – which the council acquired in October 2018 – to sell renewable energy to the council without relying on Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGOs).
These act as a guarantee to energy consumers that the energy they are using is backed by a green source of generation, such as solar, wind, tidal energy, hydroelectric power, etc.
REGO certificates for every megawatt-hour of electricity generated in the UK are issued by the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem). They are a tradeable commodity, with auctions held monthly.

In 2019, REGOs were trading for around 20p a certificate. But in more recent years, the price has rocketed hitting a record high of £25 in October 2023.
A report presented to the council’s cabinet admits that because REGOs are sold at auction it is very difficult to estimate the income that can be generated from the sale of REGOs generated by the council’s solar farms.
But there could be a potential income of between £223,948 and £559,870 from the Hull solar farm alone.
The council also owns solar farms at York, acquired in December 2019 and Cirencester, acquired the following year.
Cabinet members will be recommended to approve the sale of REGOs generated by the Hull solar farm, noting the risks involved, to maximise the financial returns for the council’s solar farm investments.


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