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Innovative plans for energy centre at Langarth Garden Village mark first step in a new way of living

Pioneering plans to create a new type of energy centre at Langarth Garden Village will play a key role in delivering Cornwall Council’s ambitious climate change strategy and provide low cost green power for residents.  

In what would be an exciting first for the UK, the Cornwall Council led scheme is proposing to build its own renewable power energy centre on the site as part of project’s developing energy strategy. This includes generating around 17,500 kilowatts of green energy a year at Langarth at the same time as helping to achieve net zero carbon within 10 years.  

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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.   

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.  Both buildings will be surrounded by planted green walls. 

In keeping with the project’s green Garden Village ethos, wild flowers will be planted around the buildings to enhance bio diversity and provide a variety of natural landscape features, as well as a number of new trees and a new Cornish hedge.  

“We are looking to create something exemplary at Langarth” said Councillor Tim Dwelly, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Economy. “Planning for and delivering this infrastructure at the start of the project will make it easier to incorporate renewable energy into the new community as it grows. “ 

“I hope these ideas will also be possible on other new housing sites across Cornwall, not just at Langarth”.  

Heat pump technology and solar panels will be used to power and heat homes, offices and other buildings, with electric charging points provided in every house and higher levels of insulation.  

The project team are 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.  

Together these measures will deliver low carbon homes with low running costs for residents as well generating an income from the sale of surplus power back to the grid. 

The development will also include information boards and educational opportunities to help describe the role it plays and help people understand how future communities will be powered. There will be a viewing platform looking north over the energy centre, and descriptive maps of the garden village.  

“It would be very exciting to see this project being pioneered at Langarth “ said Councillor Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council’s Portfolio Holder for Climate Change and Neighbourhoods.  “We believe 21st century developments should be sustainable and balance meeting the needs of our communities with the need to lower our impact on the environment. I welcome the commitment to ensuring that the new community will be designed to be adaptable, resilient and fit for future living.” 

The plans for the new energy centre are due to be formally submitted to Cornwall Council’s planning department later in the year. 

Story posted 16 October 2020