Progress Report on Leighton Grange Solar Farm Project| BY Ingrid
Wastewise, part of the Urbaser Group, who provides waste management solutions for over 1.2 million households across Cheshire and Yorkshire, is pleased to provide an update on the ongoing development of the Leighton Grange Solar Farm project.
With a generating capacity of 4.1 megawatts, the solar farm represents the realisation of a comprehensive project developed in collaboration with Cheshire East Council. When complete, the initiative will provide renewable energy to power 60% of the in-vessel composting (IVC) facility, operated by Wastewise, thereby enhancing the site’s sustainable waste management practices. Any surplus green energy will be channelled into the national grid.
Located adjacent to the IVC facility, the solar farm not only provides a cost-effective solution for our Cheshire operations, it is strategically designed to optimise resource utilisation and minimise the facility's carbon footprint. It also aligns with Cheshire East Council's goal of attaining carbon neutrality for its operations by 2025, and the wider borough by 2045.
Bob Wilkes, Managing Director of Wastewise, confirmed, “Work is currently in progress on the construction of the compound and panel storage area, and we are delighted to report that the solar panels have already arrived in the UK.
"We are truly thrilled to see this project taking shape. Collaborating with Cheshire East Council to introduce a renewable power source into the waste recycling process is a significant milestone. It sets a positive example to local residents on responsible waste handling, and we are proud to be part of this initiative."
Councillor Mick Warren, chair of Cheshire East Council’s environment and communities committee, said, “This is a very positive example of how the council is working in partnership with suppliers and businesses to reduce their environmental impact, whilst reducing the carbon emissions from the services we provide to residents.”
The Leighton Grange IVC facility, owned by Cheshire East Council and developed in partnership with Wastewise, has been fully operational since June 2020. With the capacity to process up to 90,000 tonnes of food and garden waste annually, over 95% of waste inputs are transformed into high-quality BSI PAS 100 certified compost, benefiting horticultural, agricultural, and landscaping sectors. The remaining waste is either recycled or undergoes energy recovery, exemplifying Cheshire East Council's comprehensive approach to sustainable waste management.
The solar farm is expected to be operational in early 2024.