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2020 November 11 17:14

ABP celebrates the completion of the UK’s largest rooftop solar array at the Port of Hull

Associated British Ports (ABP) has unveiled 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 6.8 million investment will save 2,600 tonnes of CO2e per annum, which equates to the energy needs of 1,450 average UK homes. The Humber is fast becoming the UK’s leader in renewable energy, with net zero clusters and more renewable technology being used in maritime industries.

The Humber is also at the forefront of the Government’s target for the UK to be net-zero by 2050.

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.

Teamwork was at the heart of ABP’s solar project, with the support of many external partners such as Northern Power Grid. Custom Solar began designing the scheme to make the most of the available space, in liaison with the port’s management team. Once the design reached its final stages, a detailed assessment was made of the electrical network to plan its necessary upgrade and strengthen it – a key part of the project.

The installation of the 21,000 solar panels, powered by 49 of global solar specialists FIMER’s PVS-100-TL 100kw inverters and 3 PVS-50-TL 50kw inverters, was completed in August 2020. The team were able to quickly adapt to COVID-19 working requirements, as their established working practices were already socially distanced in their nature, and COVID secure welfare facilities were introduced.

The project was in planning for nearly two years before beginning construction due to the sheer complexity of the system we delivered, this is yet another reason why the system is incredibly unique and bespoke to the client’s needs and environment.

17 of ABP’s 21 ports now have renewable energy projects attached. The addition of the solar scheme in Hull means that ABP’s Humber Ports can produce 29% of their energy requirements, and ABP isn’t stopping there.

ABP launched its core strategy in January 2020, which outlines the company’s commitment to accelerating green energy generation and storage for its port operations, as well as for new manufacturing sites in their ports. Over the last two years ABP Humber has also been investing in hybridised cranes and electric forklifts, to make the most of its onsite energy generation.