Associated British Ports has announced plans to build a further 20MW of solar arrays making it one of the biggest corporate solar power producers in the UK.
Once complete, the investment could ultimately see ABP’s 21 ports home to 100,000 solar panels generating up to 22,400,000kWh of clean electricity each year – enough to boil more than 1.12B kettles.
Britain’s biggest ports company, ABP is now emerging as a significant operator in the renewable energy market, with the current proposals representing a 250% increase on its existing 8MW capacity.
The solar arrays will principally be added to the roofs of ABP’s 1.4M m2 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.
One scheme covering 23,000 m2 on multiple warehouses at Immingham will become one of the UK’s largest rooftop solar installations when the project is complete in 2018. It is one of two locations set to go live by March 2018, together totalling 4.5MW.
ABP has a strong track record of investing in renewable energy. From a £310M joint investment with Siemens to create a wind turbine blade factory in the Port of Hull, to wind turbines at the ports of Newport and Swansea. Meanwhile, ABP is delivering 23 further green energy schemes across its port estate.
Chris Garton, ABP Director, Asset Management, said: “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. “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.”
Gary Sucharewycz, Director at Custom Solar, which has a three-year solar installation framework agreement with ABP, said: “The scale of this investment in solar arrays will make ABP one of the largest UK generators and users of solar energy.”