Northumberland Council’s solar staff car park to save up to £150,000 a year

Staff at Northumberland County Council’s headquarters are now leaving their cars in one of the most environmentally efficient car parks in the UK, thanks to a contribution from the England European Regional Development Fund, which has been matched by the council. An investment they plan to recoup through energy savings.

The project, which includes a covered parking area with a canopy made from solar panels, has been designed and built by UK Power Networks Services to provide the Council’s headquarters at County Hall in Morpeth with clean energy.

One of the largest car port array installations in the UK, the new installation features 800kW solar panels and a 400kW battery energy storage system with smart controls to optimise energy use, carbon emissions and costs throughout the day.

Energy from the solar panels will power the main building, provide electricity to electric vehicle charge points for fleet and staff vehicles and excess will be stored to optimise costs and carbon efficiency.

A total of 120 EV charge points have been installed, including 100 fast chargers and 20 rapid chargers, with some dedicated for accessible parking bays. 

The new solar energy infrastructure is expected to save the council between £100,000 and £150,000 on energy costs each year as well as providing an annual saving of over 250 tonnes of carbon emissions, helping the Council to meet its target of halving its own emissions by 2025.

Councillor Glen Sanderson, Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Climate Change, said: ‘This is a historical moment for Northumberland County Council and one we should be very proud of. It’s great to see this initiative finally come to fruition which will save a massive amount on Council energy supply spending and will also reduce the need for us to rely on fossil fuels to power our main building. want to say a huge thank you to everyone involved in making this happen. It is a real example of using innovative technologies to move us towards a cleaner and more sustainable future.’

David Mitchell, Director of UK Power Networks Services, said: ‘We are delighted to be delivering such a pivotal project for Northumberland County Council to assist in their objective of reducing carbon emissions in half by 2025. This solar energy infrastructure is one of the largest solar car port installations in the UK and will change the way the Council’s fleet operate to reduce cost and improve carbon efficiency.’


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