Oxford City Council is lauding what it claims is one of the UK’s “largest public solar carports”.
Installation of the carport has taken place at the Leys Pools and Leisure Centre, with the canopy featuring over 350 solar panels and stretching over 48 parking spaces.
It is set to generate over 80,000kWh per year, Oxford City Council said.
Costing £175k, the carport was commissioned by the council with support from Fusion Lifestyle. It has been installed by 3TiEnergyHubs and was 90% funded by the Salix Recycling Fund, a fund that matches public sector organisations in energy efficient technology investments.
Leys pools already boasts a 122kW rooftop install above the swimming pool which, when combined with the carport, will provide over 23% of the building’s annual electricity needs.
Tom Hayes, cabinet member for Zero Carbon Oxford, said the council has “leapt forward” in its journey to becoming a Zero Carbon Council by 2020 and the Leys Pool and Leisure Centre has “become a power station for public good”.
“The days of fossil fuels have to be numbered. Our shift to renewable, and especially solar, energy is gaining pace and gives us the opportunity to put into practice the recommendations of our Citizens’ Assembly on Climate Change.”
Solar carports are gaining the attention of several local councils. City of York Council announced its plans for a solar carport with a proposed generation capacity of up to 400kW, to power a mix of 160kW and 7kW electric vehicle chargers, in September.
Northumberland County Council also has a solar carport in its sights, with its plans for a 800kW carport with battery storage approved in July.
Oxfordshire is ramping up its climate measures, with what has been touted as “the most wide-ranging and holistic” smart grid trial in the UK, Local Energy Oxfordshire, commonly known as Project LEO, occurring in the county.