Agenda and minutes

Cleaner Communities Overview & Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 26th September, 2019 1.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Hanbury Road, Pontypool, NP4 6YB

Contact: Rachel Beale  Senior Business Support Officer - Democratic Services

No. Item


Welcome & Apologies / Croeso ac Ymddiheuriadau


1.1       Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Giles Davies and Neil Waite.


Declarations of Interest / Datganiadau o Fuddiant


2.1       Councillor Stuart Ashley declared a personal interest as a Member of the Monmouth and Brecon Canal Trust and a Member of the Canal Working Group.  


Minutes - 27/06/2019 / Cofnodion - 27/06/2019 pdf icon PDF 379 KB


3.1       The minutes of the meeting held on 27th June 2019 were confirmed as an accurate record.


Action Sheet / Taflen Weithredu pdf icon PDF 117 KB


4.1       Members noted the action sheet.


Ty Coch Solar Farm - Final Business Case Review / Fferm Heulol Ty Coch - Adolygiad Achos Busnes Terfynol pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Additional documents:


5.1       The Chair welcomed the Energy Manager, the Chief Officer, Neighbourhood Services, Planning & Public Protection and Lead Finance Officer Capital to the meeting.


5.2         The Chief Officer, Neighbourhood Services, Planning & Public Protection gave an introduction commenting on the following:

·         It was pleasing to be able to bring the Final Business Case to committee, Members scruntised the outline business case in June 2018 and recommended progressing to the next stage of the process.

·         The Final Business Case was a very technical document and Officers were following a 5 case business model and were looking at best practice for the project.

·         The proposal was still being worked on and the figures included within the report were only hypothetical but were based on a lot of modelling.

·         Officers were asking the scrutiny committee to look at whether the Council should continue with the proposal to establish the solar farm.

·         The proposal was for 3.04 megawatt solar farm sited at Ty Coch which was a former landfill site. The outline business case was for a 3.84 megawatt solar farm however the proposal has been reduced.

·         There was a need to produce the solar farm as the Council had recently declared a climate change emergency. The energy benefits from the scheme would be an equivalent reduction in 21.15% of annual CO2 generated from electricity from Torfaen CBC Buildings and the electricity consumption of 982 homes in Torfaen.

·         The proposal would show the Councils commitment for climate change.

·         The Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal trust were a key stakeholder in the project and have proposals of their own at Ty Coch. The solar farm could have been done on a bigger scale but was scaled back to allow for the Canal trust proposals to take place too.

·         A lot of soft market testing had been undertaken since the outline business case and discussions had been had with a number of suppliers to get figures, Officers were regularly getting revised costs from Western Power which all helped to build the model. Officers had taken a conservation approach on the project instead of aiming too high and not getting it complete.

·         Until the procurement process had been completed the Council would not know the final costs for the equipment and also would not know the final PPA until the agreement was signed.

·         Members needed to consider what financial envelope they would like to attach to the project, would they be satisfied with only making £1 profit each year because it would help address the climate change issues.

·         The project was a 35 year project life model drawing on a public sector loan rate of 2.78% and assumed electricity sale would be 5.75 per kilowatt hour.

·         When all costs have been taken into consideration the net return to the Council would be approximately £20,000 per year.

·         Some other Councils who have developed solar farms have procured a big contract with one supplier for supply, installation and maintenance, however that precludes SME’s from participating. Torfaen were looking to split the procurement  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Item for Next Meeting / Eitem ar gyfer y Cyfarfod Nesaf


6.1       The topic for the next meeting would be the development of a litter and fly tipping strategy.


6.2       The Chair asked the committee a number of questions in relation to the next meeting.


6.3       In response to the questions, the committee agreed to invite the relevant Executive Member, a representative from Keep Wales Tidy and Ron Ford who was a very active volunteer to the next meeting.  The Committee felt that they would not benefit from a site visit on that particular topic.


Date of Next Meeting - 6/11/2019 / Dyddiad y Cyfarfod Nesaf - 6/11/2019


7.1       The next meeting was scheduled to take place on Wednesday 6th November 2019.