The tender period closed last week for the design and installation of the solar photovoltaic (PV) farm at Nethermains on the outskirts of Kilwinning. The bid evaluation process can now get under way with the outcome finalised later this summer. The council hopes that construction could get under way within the year.
Once complete, the solar PV farm is expected to generate around 34 per cent of the council’s energy needs and provide a financial surplus of around £13m that can be reinvested in North Ayrshire.
The solar PV farm proposals will help North Ayrshire Council in its ambition to become one of the first local authorities in the country to reach net-zero carbon emissions.
Yvonne Baulk, head of service (physical environment), said: “We are very excited by the plans to transform what is currently a vacant, former landfill site into a state-of-the-art facility providing clean energy and reducing our carbon emissions.
“In the last few years, we have taken great strides as a council to lead by example in efforts to curb climate change and have reduced our own carbon emissions by more than 28 per cent through a wide range of carbon reduction projects.
“We have set our own ambitious target of having net-zero carbon emissions by 2030 – we all have a part to play, and we absolutely intend to fulfil ours.”
As well as the Nethermains solar farm, the council is also considering the viability of developing a second facility at Shewalton. The council is working with Strathclyde University to develop the plans, which are still at an early stage.