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  • Pioneering plans for a new renewable power energy centre at Langarth Garden Village are given the go ahead

    The decision of the Council’s Strategic Planning Committee to grant
    permission for a new renewable power energy centre to provide low-cost
    green power for residents is a significant milestone for the Cornwall
    Council-led Langarth Garden Village scheme.
    The new renewable power energy centre, which will play a key role in
    delivering the Council’s climate change strategy, could ultimately see
    around 20 megawatts of green energy generated at Langarth as part
    of the projects developing energy strategy to provide low-cost green power
    for residents.

    The Energy Centre will provide a central hub for electrical power to the site,
    bringing together on-site and off-site renewable energy. It will be connected
    to the grid, giving both security of supply and allowing excess generation to
    be exported.

    At the core of the Energy Centre is a new primary substation with a capacity
    of 24 MVA. Provision is also made for battery storage, which will maximise
    the use of renewable energy on site for the benefits of residents and local
    businesses. A new dedicated circuit to the main substation
    at Shortlanesend will also relieve pressure on the local grid.

    Heat pump technology, higher levels of insulation and solar panels will be
    used to power and heat homes, offices and other
    buildings at Langarth Garden Village, with electric vehicle charging points
    provided for every home. Together these measures will deliver net zero
    carbon homes with low running costs for residents, as well generating an
    income from the sale of surplus power back to the grid.

    In an addition to the original scheme, the energy centre will also be used to
    support the development of the new £100m Women and Children’s hospital
    building, and other planned improvements on the Royal Cornwall hospital
    site.

    Explaining that without the new infrastructure there had been the potential
    for a delay to the major building programme underway on the Treliske site,
    RCHT’s Chief Executive Kate Shields said the additional capacity provided by
    the Langarth energy centre would help ensure that the Trust’s ambitious
    plans are delivered on time.

    “We said at the start of the project that we wanted to create a new way of
    living at Langarth,” said Tim Dwelly, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for
    Planning and the Economy.
    “This means designing a sustainable new community that is adaptable,
    resilient and fit for future living.

    “We have worked closely with adjacent landowners and stakeholders in the
    planning process. By ensuring a greater use of renewable energy created
    and used on site and increasing capacity to support the future use of
    electric vehicles, the new energy centre will play a key role in
    helping Langarth, and the Council, to move away from carbon dependency.

    “The creation of the new energy centre will not just benefit future residents
    at Langarth, however.

    “I am particularly pleased that the project will support the development of
    the hospital site, as well as reinforcing the supply of power to Truro, and
    look forward to seeing these ideas included in other new housing sites
    across Cornwall.”

    Located next to the park and ride, the centre will include a transformer
    compound to house the electricity substation together with a bespoke
    battery storage area which will provide storage for green energy produced
    on the site for residents.

    Buildings and compounds will be surrounded by a combination of stone
    gabion walls and planted green walls. In keeping with the project’s green
    Garden Village ethos, wild flowers and trees will be planted around the site
    to enhance biodiversity and provide a variety of natural landscape
    features.

    A new pedestrian footpath will connect the existing quiet lane to the park
    and ride and there will also be a viewing platform looking north over the
    energy centre, with descriptive maps of the garden village. Information
    boards and educational opportunities will be provided to describe the role
    of the centre and help people understand how future communities will be
    powered.

    The project team is also investigating the possibility of providing solar
    panels on car ports on the proposed park and ride extension, as well as on
    other buildings and offices across the site, and exploring the potential of
    district heating using geothermal energy as a renewable source of heat.

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