Ortus Energy completes integration of 400kW PV system for GE Power Conversion’s Marine Test Facility. Image: Ortus Energy.

Ortus Energy has completed the integration of a 400kW PV system into GE Power Conversion’s Marine Power Test Facility in Leicestershire.

It is the first phase of a power purchase agreement (PPA) which has now equipped the Test Facility with a 400kWp roof-top system consisting of 962 panels with an estimated annual output of 315,000kWhs.

With the Test Facility primarily being used to explore solutions for decarbonisation within the marine industry, the solar panels will be directly contributing to the tests used for electric ship equipment.

These include both high and low voltage systems, both AC and DC, fixed and variable frequency electrical systems, which are highly configurable and interconnected via a land-based, integrated marine micro grid.

“The system upgrade has been conceived and integrated in such a way that all sources of energy, from fuel to grid supply, can be optimised for efficiency, carbon reduction and operating cost,” said Peter Oram, sales and commercial director at GE Power Conversion UK.

“It’s important for this advanced Marine Power Test Facility and the customers that rely on it, providing a full-scale demonstration of future, greener maritime technologies and their deployment within a micro grid.”

To support the optimisation of the solar power utilisation, the PV system provided by Ortus has been implemented as four separate but interconnectable roof-mounted arrays. This will allow the best configurability into the Marine Power Test Facility’s automation and energy management system.

Phase two of the PPA will commence in early 2023 at GE Power Conversion’s systems and manufacturing facility in Rugby. This has the potential to be nearly five times the size at 1.8MW output.

“We’re delighted to help GE improve their environmental profile, ESG commitments and carbon footprint, as well as locking-in a sizeable portion of their energy price for 25 years, at no upfront cost,” said Alistair Booth, managing director at Ortus Energy.

“Our fully integrated approach to building, financing and operating distributed energy streamlined the project for them and the solar PV system will be particularly beneficial for the Marine Power Test Facility site, as it looks to decrease its reliance on grid electricity.”

Ortus Energy signed an exclusive long-term partnership with Toronto-based investment firm Fiera Infrastructure in 2021, which would see £100 million invested into commercial and industrial rooftop solar developments in the UK.

The investments in these projects would allow businesses in the UK to access solar PV with no upfront cost through PPAs. These would be at rates that haven’t been seen in the industry since the end of feed-in tariff, the two companies claimed.