The 1.2MWp system is the largest solar and battery storage installation to date across the council’s portfolio. Image: Portsmouth City Council

The installation of rooftop solar PV across several buildings, alongside battery storage and solar canopies, has begun at Portsmouth International Port as part of its bid to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2030.

Managed by Portsmouth City Council’s in-house energy services team, the project sees Portsmouth International Port be the first UK port to have solar canopies and a megawatt sized battery energy storage system (BESS) installed as part of a renewable installation. The BESS has a 1.5MWh capacity.

When completed, the 1.2MWp system will be the largest solar and battery storage installation to date across the council’s portfolio.

The installation is due to be completed in the summer, with the power produced by the 2,660 solar panels to contribute around 35% of the site’s power.

The new BESS is to work in tandem with an upcoming battery storage pilot, supplying balancing services and storing power during lower pricing periods. When complete, it is estimated that 98% of the electricity consumed by the port will come from the solar and battery combined.

Custom Solar is delivering the project, having been selected after a competitive tender exercise through the council’s newly established PV and storage framework. 

Jerry Clarke, pilot and senior project manager at Portsmouth International Port, said: “We’re delighted to work with the wider council and Custom Solar on this exciting project. It will significantly expand our solar generating capability, and is part of an integrated approach that will help us to offer shore power for smaller ships, without having to take extra power from the local electricity grid.”

In 2021, it was revealed Portsmouth City Council has invested more in solar than any other council in the UK, with an investment of £4,995,707 up to 2020. Last year also saw the council install two solar, battery storage and electric vehicle (EV) charging systems at housing depots in the city.