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Portsmouth Council to undertake their largest ever solar project at Lakeside North Harbour

By Laurence Mcclenaghan
9 June 2022

Lakeside North Harbour tenants will soon benefit from, what Portsmouth City Council describe as: "One of the largest solar parking canopy arrays in the UK."

The ground-breaking energy project will include roof-mounted solar PV arrays across five buildings and a large battery storage system.

The project said the Council will protect commercial tenants of the Lakeside North Harbour offices from increasing electricity costs.

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The 130 acre business park is located on the Western Road gateway to The Solent Corridor, near J12 of the M27 and is home to more than 50 business residents, who collectively employ in excess of 5,000 people

The proposed 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.

Portsmouth Council claim: "It has installed more solar across the council’s real estate portfolio than any other UK local authority. The Lakeside project, when complete, will be the largest single solar project ever undertaken by the council."

The plans include: 1,900 roof-mounted solar PV panels which will be installed across the five Lakeside North Harbour buildings. 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.

Provision has also been made for the 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.

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 lower carbon emissions and 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.

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."

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 spiraling electricity costs and reduce their carbon emissions whilst benefitting from the wellbeing Lakeside offers.”

It is anticipated that construction will begin this autumn.

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