Portsmouth International Port achieves major solar milestone on the path to net zero by 2030. Image: Portsmouth International Port

Portsmouth International Port has become the ‘first’ in the UK to have solar canopies installed as part of a wider project to be net zero by 2030.

The project, which began in February 2022, is aiming to install rooftop solar PV across several buildings, alongside battery storage and solar canopies. Currently, the project has installed 2660 solar panels and is ready for the next development stage.

This will see a megawatt sized battery energy storage system (BESS) installed as part of the renewable installation. The 1.5MWh BESS will capture green power and distribute it across the port instead of being exported from the site.

The installation of solar PV and BESS is expected to contribute to the wider goal of being a net zero port by 2030 with 98% of the electricity consumed by the port to come from solar and battery combined during peak conditions.

Green energy produced from the solar PV will allow the port to offer shore power for smaller ships, without having to take extra power from the local electricity grid.

“It is the council’s priority to support clean growth. This major milestone on this innovative project means that the project is on-track to begin generating clean energy later this year,” said Councillor Kimberly Barrett, cabinet member for climate change and environment at Portsmouth City Council.

“When operational, it will reduce annual emissions by 239 tonnes at this busy site. We’re committed to take positive action to tackle climate change, and this cut in emissions will boost our ambitions to reduce carbon emissions across the city to net-zero by 2030.”

The scheme has been managed by Portsmouth City Council’s in-house energy services team and installed by Custom Solar.