Innovative 1 MW solar carport array.
UK insurer Aviva realized a 1 MW solar carport, that combines solar and storage with EV charging at his Scottish headquarters in Perth.
The renewable energy drive of one of the UK` s largest insurers – Aviva – has accelerated these past few weeks with the completion of one of the largest solar-powered carports in UK at the company’s Scottish headquarters in Perth. The 1.07 MW carport array has been built by renowned renewable energy developer RenEnergy using 3,283 Q.PEAK DUO-G5 solar modules from Q Cells.
Solar carport combined with a 1.8 MWh battery and 50 charging stations
The solar carport was completed recently, and will allow Aviva to reduce its onsite carbon emissions by around 400,000 kg per annum. Aviva will self-consume 77% of the generated energy onsite, thanks to the presence of a 1.8 MWh Tesla powerpack battery and 50 individual electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. The solar carport covers 342 parking spaces and was built without imposing any restrictions on car parking space for Aviva staff and visitors. Collectively, the annual output of the 1.07 MW installation will produced enough solar electricity to charge an EV for 90 trips around the world.
The site of the new carport is the Plitheavis building, which is a Grade A-listed modernist structure that has been widely labelled as ‘iconic’ within Scotland. Plans to develop a solar carport began 18 months ago when RenEnergy began discussing further collaboration with Aviva following the completion of an inaugural solar carport at the insurer’s Norwich site. This 600 kW solar carport was completed in March 2019, also using Q.PEAK DUO solar modules supplied by Q Cells.
Insuring a solar future
The latest 1.07 MW solar carport in Perth was part-funded by the Scottish government and the European Union. RenEnergy supported Aviva to table a bid to secure financing from the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme (LCITP), which is a European Regional Development fund created in unison with the EU and gov.scot. In all, the LCITP met 50% of the CAPEX development costs of the solar carport, with Aviva financing the other 50%.
The completed carport can also power the entire Aviva site independent of the grid for five hours every day, thanks to the flexibility offered by the onsite Tesla battery, which will allow Aviva to consume stored solar energy during times of high electricity prices, thus delivering energy cost savings year-round. This is all made possible by the solar power generated by Q Cells’ Q.PEAK DUO-G5 325 W modules. These solar modules were selected by RenEnergy thanks to their excellent performance in a range of climatic conditions, particularly low light conditions.
Q.PEAK DUO-G5 high-efficiency 325 W solar modules installed
The Q.PEAK DUO-G5’s half-cell layout with six bus bars and round wire interconnection help to maximize the efficiency of the cell performance, which is further boosted by Q Cells’ proprietary and patent-protected Q.ANTUM Technology – a pioneering passivation technique that boosts light harvesting and controls the degradation effects of LID (light induced degradation) and LeTID (light and elevated temperature induced degradation) to deliver greater durability and long-lasting performance.
Nick Amin, Aviva Chief Operating Officer, said: “It`s vital that businesses in all industries put words into action when it comes to tackling the climate emergency. That’s why we are taking strides to reduce our environmental impact and partner with leading technology specialists to help make that happen. The Perth solar and storage initiative is a great example of how Aviva is innovating to secure a sustainable energy supply and support the electric vehicle revolution.”
Pioneering integrated approach
Damian Baker, Managing Director RenEnergy, added: “What an amazing project. Rarely do you get the opportunity to work on an Iconic Grade A-listed property and transform its energy performance and its contribution to climate change. The challenge for this project was the integration of everything, including the site aesthetics, the solar carport, the EV charging infrastructure and the battery storage. Vital was that the client gets a return on investment and we ensure that all is communicated and managed seamlessly.”
Ross Kent, Sales Manager for Q Cells UK & Ireland, remarked: “RenEnergy is a long-standing Q.PARTNER in the UK, and this relationship has now delivered more than 1.6 MW of innovative solar electricity for the UK’s largest insurer, Aviva. Q Cells is excited to have contributed to such progressive projects, and looks forward to further supporting the UK’s drive to make more and more of its leading companies and institutions carbon neutral via the power of the sun.” (hcn)
6 January 2021