Metrocentre Gateshead has disclosed stage two of an ambitious solar panel project is now underway, expecting to install solar PV carports and 46 new electric vehicle (EV) charging ports.
The second phase of the project aims to install solar carports and EV charging ports in the Green and Blue Mall car parks and is scheduled to be completed by December 2022. This provides greater infrastructure for EVs and promotes the decarbonisation of British transportation.
This follows on from the first stage of the project which saw the installation of solar PV rooftop panels that covered an area equivalent in size to 88 tennis courts.
Energy will be provided to the EV charging bays via solar panels fitted above each parking bay. Metrocentre estimates that the electricity generated from the solar panel installation will result in a reduction of 315 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year.
Switching to solar energy will also reduce Metrocentre’s grid dependency by 30%, offsetting more than 37% of its total annual electricity use with its own low-carbon supply.
“This is a really important milestone for us as we head into the next phase of our solar panel project with Syzygy,” said Ben Cox of Sovereign Centros, senior asset manager for Metrocentre.
“A solar panel and carport installation of this size has never been seen before in a UK shopping centre and upon completion of the project later this year, Metrocentre will have the largest solar panel installation of any UK shopping centre.”
Metrocentre is working with specialist renewable energy and green technology consultant Syzygy to complete the £2.8 million project, one of the schemes to have been granted ERDF funding for 50% of the total cost of the project.
“Achieving this scale of solar panel and carport installation is the result of significant client and partner collaboration,” said John Macdonald Brown, CEO of Syzygy.
“Thank you to Sovereign Centros, European Commission (ERDF Fund), and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government for all their support in delivering this project and for their steadfast commitment to sustainable real estate development. The sheer size and magnitude of this development should provide impetus for others in the industry.”