A former coal-fired power station in the United Kingdom is being redeveloped as a “sustainable village” with 2,000 solar-powered, energy-efficient homes, according to The Guardian. The transformation of the 343-acre Rugeley coal plant site in Staffordshire will be the biggest redevelopment of a former power station in the UK to date.
The project is being spearheaded by Engie, the French electric utility that owns the power station. The village will be powered at least 50 percent by renewable energy and is expected to generate 10 megawatts of solar electricity, predominately from rooftop solar and panels in a nearby field and floating on a lake. Homes will also be built to use one-third less energy than other new buildings.
“We are positioning ourselves as going beyond energy into place-making,” Wilfrid Petrie, Engie UK’s chief executive, told The Guardian. “It’s an example of us closing down our coal power plant and, instead of selling off the land, we’ve decided to regenerate it ourselves.”
The Rugeley station stopped operating in 2016, joining a slew of other UK coal plants that have shuttered in recent years due to economic pressures. Some sites are being converted to natural gas plants, but several others are being transformed into alternative uses. For example, a 239-acre brownfield site, home to a former coal plant in Shropshire, is being redeveloped with residential and commercial units.