Solar PV carport successful installed at East Riding Leisure Driffield. Images: Getty.

A solar powered carport has been successfully installed at East Riding Leisure (ERL) Driffield by the East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

The carport houses 52.4kWp of solar PV and runs alongside two 7.4kW dual electric vehicle charging units. In doing so, EVs that come to the carport to charge will have access to renewable energy, decreasing their carbon footprint on the UK’s roads.

The council's asset strategy team was successful in securing funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) towards the installation of a solar farm, a solar carport and EV charging units across the authority.

The final aspect of the scheme is the installation of the solar carport at ERL Driffield. The leisure centre uses significant amounts of electricity and the roof has already been subject to solar PV installations, the council said.

“It is fantastic to see the installation of what is thought to be the first carport in the East Riding and certainly the first provided by the council,” said Councillor Chris Matthews, portfolio holder for environment and climate change at East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

“This innovative solution allows us to continue to work towards realising the council's net zero ambitions whilst also allowing ERL Driffield to reduce their electricity bills during this cost-of-living crisis.

“I'm really pleased this work has been achieved with minimal disruption to our residents and now the people of Driffield have further EV charging units on their doorsteps.”

The Council hopes the installation of an additional EV chargepoint will support drivers in transitioning to EVs. One primary fear amongst prospecting EV drivers is not being able to find an EV charger when required.

According to Paythru, 80% of UK drivers may be deterred from driving an EV due to poor experience at the chargepoint. Adding further concern is that over half (54%) of the respondents said not being able to find a chargepoint when it is required would put them off getting an EV. A further 26% said it might with a total of 80% having highlighted it as a concern.

“The solar carport is a really innovative way to generate green energy, tackle climate change and reduce our environmental impact. It's a fantastic design that delivers on the environmental benefits without impacting on car park provision for our customers,” said Darren Jackson, general manager at ERL Driffield.

Several solar carport projects have been developed across the UK notably by Adur & Worthing Councils and Metrocentre Gateshead.

Metrocentre Gateshead disclosed earlier this year that stage two of an ambitious solar panel project was underway, with the firm expecting to install solar PV carports and 46 new EV charging ports.

The second phase of the project aims to install solar carports and EV charging ports in the Green and Blue Mall car parks and is scheduled to be completed by December 2022.