A proposal to invest £16m in a “Renewable Energy Programme” that could see wind turbines built on council owned farms has been given the green light at Cornwall Council .

At a meeting of the council's cabinet on Wednesday, September 19, members considered a report which included a desktop assessment of wind turbines on ten Council owned sites. The council says the findings of the assessment give an indication of the potential to reduce Cornwall’s carbon emissions and of the benefits to the economy of Cornwall.

Over the last year the Council has installed 1.6 megawatts of rooftop solar panels on Council buildings and is starting work on the 5 megawatt Kernow Solar Farm, UK’s first Council-owned solar farm.

The council claims these will produce a combined income of £1.2 million per year and with the new investment, the renewable energy programme could increase this to over £5m per year.

Cabinet member for corporate resources Jim Currie said: “By investing ourselves, we will ensure that the whole of the profits are retained for the benefit of Cornwall. The planning environment is now experienced enough to ensure that any sites that go forward will give maximal return for minimal intrusion.”

Julian German, cabinet member for localism, sustainability and devolution said: “The benefits of investing in this Renewable Energy Programme are significant. We don’t expect that all of the ten Council owned sites identified as potential wind turbine sites will go ahead as there will of course be local consultation through the planning process to go through, but the desktop assessment gives a good indication of how we can proceed with a budget of £16m. The exercise carried out indicates that we can save over 18,000 tonnes of carbon and produce enough energy to power 10,000 homes.”