Dock site to harness hydropower as Peel Ports drives its net-zero ambitions

Eastham hydropower

Hydropower will help drive Queen Elizabeth II Dock, at Eastham, as part of owner Peel Ports Group’s ambition to become net-zero across its network and operations by 2040.

Peel, the UK’s second largest port operator, has partnered with Czech renewable energy specialist, Hydropol, to install a twin Archimedean screw generator, at the site’s 30-foot lock.

Now connected to the dock’s electricity network, it will generate up to 1,500,000 kWh per year – enough energy to power an estimated 190,000 homes for a day.

Under a pioneering private energy purchasing agreement, Peel Ports will procure this renewable energy from Hydropol.

As well as providing energy to the dock, the generator will power the site’s Green Automotive Hub, which has been enabling sustainable vehicle manufacturing since its launch in late 2023. The use of the hydropower generator to operate the hub makes it even greener and fully energy independent.

Lewis McIntyre, Managing Director – Port Services at Peel Ports Group, said: “The introduction of hydropower at Queen Elizabeth II Dock is another major achievement as we seek to make our operations greener and more sustainable for the future.

“The amount of renewable energy set to be produced is significant and builds on Eastham Dock’s sustainable credentials.”

In 2021 Peel Ports announced its commitment to becoming a net zero port operator by 2040, 10 years ahead of the Government’s target, making it the first UK port operator to declare such ambitious decarbonisation plans.

Last March Peel Ports announced it was recommissioning the dock next to the Manchester Ship Canal, together with car manufacturer Stellantis, to serve its nearby Ellesmere Port site which will become the first of its plants to produce solely battery-electric models for both commercial and passenger vehicles.

The facility on the Eastham dock services a twice-weekly shipping route from Vigo Port in Spain, to Eastham, supplying auto parts for the car plant, which will take an estimated 14,700 lorry journeys off roads across the UK and continental Europe annually, saving approximately 11 million miles in road trips.

Peel Ports and global logistics firm Suardíaz invested a combined £10m in the 9.5-acre green automotive hub, believed to be the first of its kind in the UK.