The solar is to provide the electricity to charge the new electric vehicles. Image: Portsmouth City Council

Portsmouth City Council has installed two solar, battery storage and electric vehicle (EV) charging systems at housing depots in the city.

The solar – installed at the housing depot in Port Royal Street and at Paulsgrove Housing Office – is to generate the electricity required to charge EVs.

SolarEdge is to optimise the solar, bypassing shaded and poorly performing panels to ensure the system is operating to its optimum level. Each individual panel can be monitored by the council’s energy services team using the SolarEdge platform in case one breaks or underperforms.

Alongside the solar, Tesla Powerwall batteries have also been installed at the sites with the intention of capturing excess solar generation. The batteries can also charge at night during periods of low-cost, off-peak electricity tariffs and discharge during the more costly peak periods, helping to save the council money on its energy bills.

Cabinet member for housing and preventing homelessness, Darren Sanders, said: “As we emerge into the new different, we want a kinder, fairer and greener Portsmouth. This is another step towards that.”

Portsmouth has invested more in solar than any other council in the UK since 2014, according to research from The Solar Centre. It found that Portsmouth had invested £4,995,707 in the technology up until 2020, although when ranking investment per million pound of council budget the London Borough of Merton came out on top.

In January, Portsmouth City Council launched the Switched On Solar scheme, with this intended to help over 30,000 homes install rooftop panels through walking residents through the costs and benefits of a system and directing them towards installers.