Portsmouth International Port has announced the installation of the cutting-edge solar and battery system.
The project began with the installation of roof-mounted solar panels across several buildings, large battery storage, and the first solar canopies at a UK port, and was managed by Portsmouth City Council’s in-house energy services and building services teams, installed by Custom Solar, and assisted by engineers at the port.
The project was completed in July 2023, when an enhanced link to the national grid enabled the full capacity of the 1.2 megawatt (MW) peak system to be fulfilled.
This innovative system, which consists of 2,660 solar panels, supplies an amazing 35 per cent of the site’s power.
The solar system is supplemented with a 1.3 megawatt-hour onsite battery, which can power a normal home for four months.
It gathers renewable energy that would otherwise be sent to the local power grid and redirects it to the port’s facilities as needed.
The battery and the new solar system operate together to provide balancing services to the national grid and to store electricity during periods of cheaper price.
Kimberly Barrett, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment at Portsmouth City Council, said: “It’s great to see this project switched on and using greener energy to power such an important part of Portsmouth.
“This will reduce carbon emissions by 239 tonnes, a huge step in the right direction for our Net Zero Carbon by 2030 target.”
Elly Howe, Environmental and Sustainability Coordinator at Portsmouth International Port added: “This huge solar installation and battery storage facility will help the port reach our ambitious sustainability goals.
“Energy consumption at the port is already down 33 per cent on last year so I’m excited to see what we can achieve in the future.
“Along with our project partners, I’d like also like to thank Brittany Ferries, the port’s biggest customer, for helping to accommodate the work throughout some of the busiest times of the year.”
Gary Sucharewycz, Development Director at Custom Solar, stated: “Portsmouth City Council are very forward thinking in their renewable ambitions and we are very proud to have supported them by developing and delivering this major solar and storage project.
“The project demonstrates how solar can be integrated into areas of land in busy operational sites such as this and we look forward to working with the council on future projects.”