Avon and Somerset Constabulary has submitted a full planning application for the installation of a wind turbine at its Portishead headquarters.
Aimed at reducing energy costs and generating an income for the force, the application has been submitted to North Somerset Council at a time of continuing budget cuts and the need to make millions of pounds in savings.
If approved, the 250kW turbine will be installed in a field currently rented out by the force as pasture land adjacent to HQ off Valley Road.
Each year it is expected to generate at least 418MWh – enough to power 103 homes for a year - and would save about 186 tonnes of carbon dioxide that would otherwise be generated through the use of fossil fuels.
All electricity generated would be used at HQ, directly reducing the energy costs at the Portishead facility which is used all day, every day.
Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: "As a public body we not only have a duty to reduce our CO2 emissions but also to consider our long-term sustainability.
"I am keen to explore any means that reinforces our commitment to a more environmentally-friendly way of operating day-to-day.
"We’ve already commissioned solar panels and a biomass boiler at police headquarters and the wind turbine will continue to help support us in generating our own electricity and limiting our emissions."
Energy demand at the police headquarters site is substantial.
In a bid to reduce carbon emissions and reliance on fossil fuels, cut costs and generate income, a biomass boiler and solar PV arrays have already been installed, with more planned. The turbine further complements these projects.
The force is facing future funding reductions of between £27-35million over the next three years – this is on top of considerable budget cuts which have already meant the constabulary having to make £59million of savings by March 2016.
So far, Avon and Somerset has managed to keep officer and staff post reductions to a minimum. Our headquarters is a base for 1,600 officers and staff, with an estimated 54% living in North Somerset. The savings and additional income the turbine will provide would help to safeguard jobs and the provision of frontline policing.
Posted on Friday 2nd October 2015