From the “ashes” of the Rugeley factory will emerge a sustainable village, made up of 2,000 energy-efficient homes powered by renewable energy sources. Engie’s solar village will use a third less energy than new homes in the UK.

In 2016, Rugeley Power Station, a coal-fired power station in Staffordshire, England, shut down its polluting power generators for good. Due to deteriorating market conditions and rising carbon costs, the French owner of the plant, ENGIE, was forced to request the closure and start dismantling work. But from the ashes of the historic English power station, a project to regenerate and redevelop the site was born in the same year.

Rugeley power station. Image: Neil Mitchell Shutterstock

The details of the plan are not yet finalized, but the company has announced its intention to transform the 139 hectares of the old power plant into a solar village: 2,000 households equipped with domestic photovoltaic energy, batteries, heat pumps, special attention and energy efficiency efforts.

According to initial statements from the company, the goal is to be able to cover at least half of households’ renewable energy needs, reducing consumption by a third through energy saving measures.

In addition to the large expanse of solar roofs, there will also be an on-land PV system and floating PV module structures on the lake, for a total of 10 MW installed.

Centralized and domestic storage systems will help balance electricity supply and demand. Along with the solar village, the project also plans to construct commercial buildings, creating local jobs.

Locals will have a say in Engie’s plans during a planning weekend, scheduled from November 30 to December 4. Colin Macpherson, Director of Development at Société Française, explains: “The scheme that we are developing is still in its early stages, we are in full discussion with the community and the local authorities. We want to understand what people think about it, because it is clear how important it is to involve them in the project. “. And as the Guardian Wilfrid Petrie, CEO of Engie UK revealed, the initiative could be replicated. “There is a list of similar sites we are reviewing“.

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