London welcomes largest council-backed rooftop solar+storage installation


Installed atop a wholesale market in the London borough of Hounslow, 6,069 solar panels combine to form a 1.73 MW array, supported by four 60 kW lithium-ion batteries that serve to store solar energy for use around-the-clock.

The installation, fitted at a cost of £2 million ($2.93 million) meets half the energy needs of the Western International Market, and is noteworthy for being the largest such array to be backed by a local authority in the U.K.

Inside the warehouse, 80 traders in fresh produce and flowers toil daily, consuming 3.5 MWh of electricity annually. With a solar array now installed, Hounslow Council calculate that the facility will save £148,000 per year in energy costs, generating £100,000 in tariff payments and £7,000 in export tariffs. Over the array’s first year, the council will be some £255,000 better off – having also contributed 2% to its carbon reduction target.

"From the very beginning, this project has been about reducing our carbon footprint and making an investment for the future," said Hounslow Council energy manager Charles Pipe. "But we have achieved so much more than that. Not only can we expect to see immediate savings on our electricity bills, but we are expecting to see a return on this investment in around five years."

The solar modules were supplied by LG, with Germany’s Tesvolt shipping its commercial-scale lithium-ion batteries to the Western London site for installation next to the array. Israel’s SolarEdge was also called upon to supply its DC power optimizers and inverters.

"This is LG’s largest solar panel installation in Europe and testament to Britain’s continued commitment to renewables," said LG Solar UK senior solar sales manager Bob Mills. "What’s more, the project has set the wheels in motion for further investment and research into the potential of battery storage, which is set to revolutionize the solar industry."