No reduction on energy bills in Meden Vale despite solar farm opening, residents are told

Former Welbeck Colliery site
Former Welbeck Colliery site

Hopes that residents could get a reduction in electricity bills because of a new solar farm on their doorstep have been dashed.

Work on the new farm on the old Welbeck Colliery site has more than 51,000 solar panels, with all of the annual 12mw of energy produced to be fed back in to the national grid.

Questions had been raised by local councillors on whether the local community - which once supplied most of the workforce for the coal pit - could somehow benefit from the project.

The farm is largely automated and provides little employment for local people compared to the former pit.

But Nottinghamshire County Council’s John Allin, who also sits on Warsop Parish Council said: “We took it up with the firm running the solar farm, and they did not take the suggestion.

“It’s not going to happen unfortunately.

“Everybody has different power suppliers so it would not be feasible.

“If they were all with the same supplier, we might have had a chance.”

However, he said Anesco, which is running the project, has agreed to install solar panels on the local community centre to help power it.

Anesco said that reducing bills was not possible with energy prices set by suppliers, and added that it was an issue raised prior to their involvement with the project.

A spokesman for the company said: “We were in attendance at the last ‘Welbeck the future’ meeting, held three weeks ago, with all councillors present and two local residents.

“Supporting the local communities in which we work and operate is very important to us and at the meeting the councillors and residents were over the moon when we offered to install a free solar PV system on the miner’s hall.

“This is something which will directly benefit the local community.”