Surfing lake to be solar powered from this summer
Work is set to start on a solar and energy storage array at the country’s first every inland surfing lake.
The move means the surf at The Wave in South Gloucestershire will be sun powered from this June.
Planning, funding and contracts are now all in place for the solar installation, which will produce more energy than the surfing lake and its surrounding facilities use every year – making the business Net Zero carbon in terms of its operational energy consumption.
The unique inland surfing destination has secured just over £1.45m European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Growth Programme funding, alongside match funding from South Gloucestershire Council in the form of a commercial loan.
The £3.2m project, will see a range of solar PV modules installed across the site, including a solar canopy over part of the car park and a solar Smartflower, which will act as an engaging renewable energy educational tool for visitors and school visits.
An electric vehicle charging hub will also be installed on site for visitors with Ultra Low Emission vehicles to support the growing Electric Vehicle market.
Excess power generated will be exported, contributing towards decarbonising the National Grid.
The installation of the Solar PV is being project managed by specialist renewable energy consultancy, Syzygy, and is due to be complete and start generating energy from June 2023.
Nick Hounsfield, The Wave Founder, said “From the word go, we said we would use 100 per cent renewable energy – it would have been so wrong for us to be using fossil fuels to power our waves, thereby contributing to climate change and the acidification of the oceans. The plan was always to progress to be able to generate our own energy and to know that this will be a reality by next year is a dream come true.
“This installation wouldn’t be possible without the match funding loan from South Gloucestershire Council. It is brilliant to be working alongside a local authority that is so proactive in its response to the climate change emergency and so supportive of businesses looking to make a positive difference.”
One of The Wave’s investors and project lead on the solar development, Nick Asheshov, adds: “We are delighted that The Wave is taking a major step towards decarbonisation of its operations, which has always been a key part of the vision that convinced us to back the company several years ago.
“We are very grateful for the support of South Gloucestershire Council, DLUHC and ERDF, and excited to showcase what is possible for businesses wanting to develop their own on-site renewable energy generation.”
South Gloucestershire council leader Toby Savage, said: “We are delighted to be able to support The Wave in bringing forward their solar and energy storage proposals at their surfing destination in Easter Compton. The solar farm and EV facilities will help increase the amount of renewable generation in South Gloucestershire as well as encouraging visitors to sustainably travel to The Wave in electric vehicles.
“We all need to play our part in reducing carbon emissions and finding sustainable alternatives for energy and travel, and initiatives such as this are an excellent way to achieve net zero carbon and help meet our climate emergency aims for the area.”
The Wave is located in a rural site on the edge of Bristol, close to the M5. At its heart is a 180m long surfing lake, powered by innovative Wavegarden Cove technology.