A new large 250 kilo-watt (kW) solar system has been installed on the roofs of Portsmouth City Council’s Hilsea Industrial Estate. This complements the existing 50kW system and completes the biggest single solar and battery installation for the council to date. It marks another important step towards the council’s target of net zero carbon by 2030, with solar and batteries being identified as one of the key technologies to deliver the renewable power needed.
This ground-breaking project uses batteries as a key component of the installation; installed alongside 738 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. The ten-unit battery system, is the largest operational Powerwall installation in the UK. The system can store 135 kWh of electricity at any one time; enough to power an average domestic homes for 2 weeks. As well as capturing more of the solar power generated on the site, the batteries are also able to take advantage of storing power at night, when electricity is cheaper. Stored energy is then used during mornings and early evenings when electricity costs are more expensive.
Combined, the solar PV and storage will reduce the site’s reliance on grid-bought electricity by almost 50%; despite there being many energy-hungry processes at the industrial estate. The system will reduce carbon emissions by 69 tonnes a year, and reduce the running costs of the site significantly. During the summer months, virtually all of the power required to run the site will be coming from either the panels or batteries.
Cllr Dave Ashmore, the council’s Cabinet Member of Environment and Climate Change said: “It’s fantastic to see Portsmouth City Council leading the way when it comes to innovative projects like the one at Hilsea Industrial Estate. Not only are we producing and using our own renewable energy but projects like this dramatically reduce the Council’s ongoing energy costs. The Council has been clear in setting out its plans in tackling climate emergency and it’s fantastic to see projects like acting out these plans.”
The work was carried out by one of Portsmouth City Council’s Solar PV framework contractors, Evo Energy and project managed by the City Council’s in-house Energy Team.
Mike Salisbury, Managing Director of Evo Energy, commented on the Hilsea Project, ‘”We are extremely proud to be working with Portsmouth City Council on such an exciting and innovative project.
Bringing together cutting edge battery technology alongside Solar PV to deliver for businesses increased financial savings will help them to achieve real net zero, and reduce their reliance on the national grid.
This is the future for renewable power in utilising otherwise unused roof space local to the user and turning it into a green energy generator.”
The council has already used its framework to install Tesla Powerwalls in 13 housing blocks, with a further 20 on the way. However, this is the first time that such a large number of the units have been used in a single installation. Where batteries have been installed previously, up to 98% of the sites’ electricity demand has been met through the batteries and accompanying solar.
Energy storage through the use of batteries is set to become a key technology for Portsmouth City Council and their ambitions to become net zero carbon by 2030; as they strive to take every opportunity to harness renewable energy opportunities.