Looking to create enough green electricity to cover all of its operational needs, Associated British Ports (ABP) is planning to boost its solar portfolio with a 20 MW solar PV array, which, once completed, would make the ports company one of the biggest corporate solar power producers in the U.K.
The project is to be located at Immingham, Britain’s biggest port, on the roofs of ABP’s 1.4 million square meters of covered storage space across the ports. The energy generated will power port operations for ABP and its customers, with excess power fed into the National Grid, the company announced.
The investment will build up ABP’s profile as a significant operator in the renewable energy market, representing a 250% increase on its existing 8 MW solar PV capacity.
Touted as one of the U.K.’s largest rooftop solar installations, one scheme covering 23,000 square meters on multiple warehouses at Immingham, will be one of two locations, together totaling 4.5 MW, set to go live by March 2018.
A three-year solar installation framework agreement has been inked with U.K. installer Custom Solar, which was chosen following a competitive tendering process.
“The scale of this investment in solar arrays will make ABP one of the largest U.K. generators and users of solar energy,” said Gary Sucharewycz, Director at Custom Solar. “They have recognized not only the benefits of minimizing the impact of operations on the environment but the value in the security of energy supply that solar offers.”
In addition to its solar portfolio, ABP has already launched a series of environmentally-friendly engineering projects, including a £310 million joint investment with Siemens to create a wind turbine blade factory in the Port of Hull, wind turbines at the ports of Newport and Swansea, and 23 further green energy schemes which ADB is delivering across its port estate.
“Renewable energy is at the heart of this business. Not only do we play a vital role in the thriving UK offshore wind sector but our business is increasingly a significant renewable energy generator in its own right,” said Chris Garton, ABP Director, Asset Management. “And we are confident that this is just the beginning for ABP. We still have significant potential to further develop our ports to generate yet more clean energy, further reducing the carbon footprint both of our business and of our customers’ operations.”