UK’s ‘largest solar carport’ – with additional storage – planned for St Ives Park & Ride

Cambridgeshire County Council has received planning permission for what it claims will be the UK’s largest solar carport.

The installation, which will be developed at the site of St Ives’ Park & Ride, 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).

Planning documents associated with the proposals do not include any prospective size of the storage unit.
The council is combining with central government, St Ives town council, UKPN and local businesses in a bid to turn the scheme into a replicable model for future smart grid deployment. Should it prove successful, it is hoped that further systems of similar size and scope could be deployed elsewhere.

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.

Read more: Solar Power Portal

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