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Permission granted for UK’s ‘largest solar carport’

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St Ives Park & Ride facility in Cambridgeshire has received planning permission for what it claims will be the UK’s largest solar carport.

The installation is anticipated to be 948kW in size and combined with a battery storage system as part of a wider demonstrator project with collaboration from distribution network operator UK Power Networks (UKPN).
St Ives Park & Ride facility in Cambridgeshire
Should it prove successful, it is hoped that further systems of similar size and scope could be deployed elsewhere, according to Solar Power Portal.

The £3 million cost of the project is to be supported by European Regional Development funds, which will provide half, while the council will invest the remaining funds.

The car park will be covered by three main canopies fitted with solar modules. Generated electricity will be used first and foremost to power LED lighting and adjacent electric vehicle charging points.

Any surplus will be stored using the battery system and sold to local customers, helping to finance the project’s development.

Cambridgeshire County Council and Bouygues Energies and Services will design and construct the system. Miles Messenger, energy engineering manager at Bouygues, lauded the project’s success of integrating renewables with smarter distribution.

“The project demonstrates how smart micro-grid solutions can be used to help address current and future energy challenges. Renewable energy will charge electric vehicles and serve local energy consumers. We are delighted to have this opportunity to work with Cambridgeshire County Council on this exciting scheme,” he said.

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