SOLAR farms that could provide a big chunk of Bradford Council’s energy needs could be installed at two large sites in the district. 

Investigations have begun to see if two sites – one in Bradford and another in the Keighley area, are suitable for the installations of large solar arrays.

One is a council-owned site in the Odsal area.

Property consultancy Eddisons has been appointed by Bradford Council to investigate the viability of developing solar farms at two sites.

The sites will be assessed by Eddisons to investigate the costs, funding, and potential design of the two sites being developed as solar farms.

A release by Eddisons does not reveal which site in Keighley is being investigated – but a recent report by Bradford Council said the authority was considering land near Sugden End.

The Odsal site was originally earmarked for a solar farm development as part of the proposed £50m regeneration scheme proposal to transform the Bradford Bulls' home into the largest covered stadium in the country, along with a new rugby league skills centre.

The plan was turned down by the Government for levelling-up funding last year.

A recent council report into environmental schemes in the district revealed that the authority had committed £5m to deliver a five-acre solar park at Odsal Top.

It added: “It is estimated that solar energy from Odsal could provide 2.5MW of electricity, which equates to circa 20 per cent of council electricity costs.

“The capped tip at Sugden End is also being considered and is larger and more stable than Odsal.”

Referring to the planned surveys, the report added: “This is to assess the suitability, costs, timelines and revenue associated with solar PV farms on Odsal and Sugden End waste sites and whether the option to deploy solar PV on council buildings is more suitable at this time.”

Nazar Soofi, Eddisons’ head of sustainability and decarbonisation, said: “Large-scale green energy projects like these could be a really significant development for Bradford Council in helping to reach its net zero goals.

“Over the coming months, we will assess the viability of the project and the funding structure that would ensure it makes best use of public money.

“These are both brownfield sites with some contamination of the land. The development of solar farms, which would generate significant levels of renewable energy, would potentially be an innovative use for them and marks out Bradford Council as being ahead of the curve on green issues.”

If the projects are given the green light, work could start as early as next year and the farms would be operational by 2026.