Sunny delight as UK’s largest commercial rooftop solar array is unveiled

Associated British Ports (ABP) has revealed the UK’s largest commercial rooftop solar array based at the Port of Hull.

The array will produce 6.5MW of energy, more than doubling ABP Humber Ports’ renewable energy generation.

ABP’s £6.8m investment will save 2,600 tonnes of CO2e per annum, which equates to the energy needs of 1,450 average UK homes.

Simon Bird, director at ABP Humber, said: “This has been a huge project for ABP and our appointed contractor, Custom Solar, to undertake.

“I’m delighted that the Port of Hull now holds the accolade of the UK’s largest, commercial rooftop array.

“Our ambition is to keep reducing the emissions that port operations generate, by implementing a mix of clean energy production, and investing further in hybridised port equipment.

“Every bit of effort and investment to lower our carbon footprint, contributes to the region’s environmental targets. This scheme and others like it, also help to secure ABP’s energy supply, making great commercial and environmental sense.”

The project team decided on using solar technology, as it could be installed on the vast space created by the port’s many warehouse rooftops.

Custom Solar began installing the solar panels in October 2019, but the project had already been many months in the planning.

Installation of the 21,000 solar panels, powered by 49 of global solar specialists FIMER’s PVS-100-TL 100kw inverters and three PVS-50-TL 50kw inverters, was completed in August 2020.

Matthew Brailsford, managing director of Custom Solar, said, “It’s another proud moment for the Custom Solar team and our client, Associated British Ports, as we deliver yet another iconic rooftop solar system.

“Obviously this one is in a very special bracket all on its own being the UK’s largest.

“The project was in planning for nearly two years before beginning construction due to the sheer complexity of the system we delivered.

“With carbon reduction, CSR and keen financial savings on the agenda of all large corporations during such a challenging time, we see solar as the perfect fit.

“The future is solar powered, and we are glad to be leading the way.”

FIMER’s chairman Filippo Carzaniga, said: “This was a ground-breaking project, which marks our first major solar development in the country, and the largest installation of its kind.

“It demonstrates how powerful solar power can be and, we are proud to have worked closely with ABP and Custom Solar to make this vision a reality.”

Bird added: “Having now completed the solar arrays on the Ports of Immingham, Goole and Hull, ABP has already started work to understand the next phase of our ambition.

“Grimsby will be our focus, as the port is home to the growing offshore wind sector, we would once again like to reduce our carbon footprint using a mix of clean energy generation.”

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