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Largest UK solar PV project at Lakeside is unveiled

June 15, 2022

Plans to install a large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) and battery storage system at Lakeside North Harbour have been unveiled.

The ground-breaking project will include roof-mounted solar PV arrays across five buildings, one of the largest solar parking canopy arrays in the UK, and a large battery storage system. It is anticipated that works will start in Autumn 2022.

Across the UK, both businesses and residents are seeing steep increases in energy bills, however, this project will see commercial tenants of the Lakeside North Harbour offices protected from increasing electricity costs.

The plans include:

1,900 roof-mounted solar PV panels will be installed across the five buildings at Lakeside North Harbour

An additional 8,000 solar PV panels will be installed above existing car parking spaces, forming solar canopies. These combined projects will have a total renewable electricity generation capacity of 4.5 megawatts (MW) and are set to save 992 tonnes of carbon dioxide from being emitted each year.

Installation of a number of electric vehicle (EV) charging points alongside the solar PV and battery project, along with the infrastructure to install additional charging points as onsite demand increases.

2MW battery installation to enable excess electricity to be stored and used during peak periods of demand.

To maximise the consumption of electricity generated from the solar PV panels, the 2MW battery will have the capacity to store any excess electricity and power approximately 2,000 homes instantaneously. This means an increase in carbon emissions savings and further reductions of onsite electricity costs. The battery will also be used for ‘grid services’, which allows power to be stored or discharged as required by the National Grid, to help balance other renewable sources of generation and periods of peak electricity demand.

The solar PV and battery installation is expected to start in autumn 2022 and be completed by summer 2023. When complete, the electricity generated by the solar PV system will total around 4.1 gigawatt-hours (GWh) every year and provide up to 38% of the site’s electricity requirement, the equivalent of over 1,000 homes’ typical annual electricity consumption.

Commenting on the project, Cllr Kimberly Barrett, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment, said:

“It is great to see that we are continuing to build a portfolio of energy saving projects across the city with the addition of this solar PV and battery at Lakeside. This will help to support our tenants, local businesses, and residents in a time where energy bills are rising. The inclusion of further EV charging points will encourage and support more people to transition to electric vehicles as a reliable mode of transport, therefore reducing their carbon footprint in a time of climate emergency.

“By adding this project to our energy saving initiatives across the city and working alongside our big employers, it is a big step in the right direction towards achieving our city-wide net zero target by 2030.”

Simon Bateman, Lakeside Asset Manager, said:

“This is an amazing opportunity for Lakeside and its occupiers to demonstrate their Corporate Social Responsibility and environmental credentials. Not only will most of the common electricity used on site be generated on site, but also occupiers will be able to save on spiralling electricity costs and reduce their carbon emissions whilst benefitting from the wellbeing Lakeside offers.”

The work is the latest in a series of solar PV and battery projects being managed by Portsmouth City Council’s in-house energy services team. The team are also managing a major solar PV and battery project which is underway at Portsmouth International Port. The energy services team has installed more solar across the council’s buildings portfolio than any other UK local authority, across schools, leisure centres and housing properties. The Lakeside project, when complete, will be the largest single solar project ever undertaken by the council.

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