A BUSINESS plan to install solar panels across the town has been approved.
Members of Eastbourne Borough Council’s cabinet committee gave the plan the green light at the Town Hall last Wednesday.
Council officials say the business case is based on a “generous” system of payments, known as feed-in-tariffs, that will repay all the project costs over the 25 year lifetime of the scheme and produce a surplus.
Subject to final legal checks, the council has allocated up to £13 million in capital funding for the installation of solar panels on between 700 to 1,500 council owned houses and non-domestic buildings, generating free electricity for those tenants living in them.
The self funding option chosen by councillors means the council would provide the investment to fund solar installations and retains all of the FIT income that follows.
The project is being closely monitored by many other local authorities from across East Sussex and the wider south east.
Leader of Eastbourne Borough Council David Tutt said, “Eastbourne is now a step closer to leading a solar revolution and is amongst the first pioneering authorities to seriously consider the potential offered by sustainable energy.
“We still have some work to do before we can make this a reality; however, with such an innovative scheme like this it is right and proper to ensure we have completed all the right checks before committing funding.
“Everyone knows Eastbourne is one of the sunniest towns in the UK and we hope to have a final positive decision within weeks so we can start to harness our considerable sunshine advantage.”