November 19, 2018 Read More →

Engie to redevelop U.K. coal plant into ‘sustainable village’

The Guardian:

An old coal power station is set to be transformed into a “sustainable village” of 2,000 homes powered by solar panels, in the biggest redevelopment yet of a former UK power plant.

French firm Engie said it had decided against selling off the Rugeley site in Staffordshire and would instead build super-efficient houses on the 139-hectare site as part of its bid to “move beyond energy.”

Half of the energy required by the new homes will come from green sources, predominantly solar, which will be fitted on rooftops, in a field and even floating on a lake. The company is planning for 10 megawatts of solar capacity in total, equivalent to one of the UK’s smaller solar farms. Batteries will be used across the site, both in homes and at a communal power storage facility, to balance out electricity supply and demand.

Wilfrid Petrie, Engie UK’s chief executive, said: “We are positioning ourselves as going beyond energy into place-making. It’s an example of us closing down our coal power plant and, instead of selling off the land, we’ve decided to regenerate it ourselves.”

Rugeley, which stopped generating electricity in the summer of 2016, is one of several coal plants to close in recent years due to economic pressures and environmental regulations.

There are seven operational coal power stations left in the UK, but all are due to shut by a government deadline of 2025, raising questions over what happens to the sizeable parcels of land afterwards.

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