English councils tender for solar car parks and storage


Two district councils on the English South Coast have opened a tender to install six solar-powered car parks plus electric vehicle (EV) charging points and an energy storage system which can offer grid ancillary services.

In a tender which is likely to be keenly watched by local councils around the U.K., the separate authorities of Worthing Borough Council and Adur District Council – which work in tandem and are both within West Sussex County Council – have called for expressions of interest, with the deadline for pre-qualifying for the 25-year contract falling on September 2.

The successful contractor will install solar panels at six public car parks – including at least three multi-storeys and a crematorium – plus 13 EV chargers across the sites and a battery storage system at one of the locations.

Under the terms of the tender, published yesterday, the solar car parks will have a total generation capacity of 18-250 kW; the energy storage system will have a minimum capacity of 300 kWh, and will offer grid services including frequency response; and the EV charging points will include six 50 kW ‘rapid’ chargers and seven 22 kW ‘fast’ devices.

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The contractor will pay for, own and maintain the equipment during the 25-year contract with the facilities then passing to the local councils. The successful bidder will be able to bill drivers who charge their vehicles at the sites with any excess energy bought by the local authorities under a power purchase agreement “at a price below the standard market rates.”

The equipment will have to operate under a virtual power plant which can be operated by a commercial entity chosen by the contractor.

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