Image: Portsmouth City Council.

Portsmouth is set to launch a new solar PV scheme that could help more than 30,000 homes install rooftop panels.

The Switched On Solar scheme is designed to allow residents to assess the solar potential of their roofs, and then walk them through the costs and benefits of a system and direct them towards installers.

Portsmouth City Council has bid for around £4 million of government funding to support the project, along with a range of domestic energy efficiency measures.

Speaking to Solar Power Portal, Councillor Dave Ashmore, Portsmouth City Council's cabinet member for Environment & Climate Change, said that encouraging as many homes as possible in Portsmouth to install solar technology on their roofs was part of the council’s commitment to becoming a net zero emissions city by 2030.

“The Switched On Solar tool uses Lidar and other factors to identify appropriate roofs in a user-friendly way and is one way we're helping residents switch to solar. We're hoping to launch the Switched On Solar tool and service in early February as part of the wider support offered by Switched On Portsmouth.”

Run by Portsmouth City Council, Switched On Portsmouth offers energy saving services to residents of Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant, including free insulation installation through Warmer Homes, as well as help and advice.

Portsmouth has already demonstrated a strong commitment to solar, including announcing a solar rollout scheme worth up to £10 million for council buildings in 2016 that ran till 2020. This helped it achieve a record amount of solar generation during the first COVID-19 lockdown last year, with the council’s solar panels – which sit on schools, offices, community centres and housing sites – generating 1.3GWh of power.

The council is also involved in the flagship Portsmouth International Port solar and battery storage project, which is set to be the first UK port to have solar canopies and a megawatt sized battery installed as part of a renewable installation. In December 2020, Custom Solar was chosen by Portsmouth City Council to deliver the 750kW peak system that will include 1,670 solar panels.