Leeds City Council has opened the UK’s first solar-powered park and ride in Stourton, serviced by electric buses that link the park and ride to Leeds city centre.
The project is part of Leeds City Council’s strategy to hit carbon zero by 2030 and reduce congestion and pollution in the city centre.
Stourton is Leeds’ third park and ride site and the first that is powered by solar modules coupled with a battery storage system, with carbon emissions being reduced by approximately 471,000kg in 2022.
The project is a vital part of Leeds City Council’s strategy to hit carbon zero by 2030 and reduce congestion and pollution in the city centre. Partial funding from the Department for Transport and a grant awarded by the European Regional Development Fund, helped support the project.
With the battery storage in place, around 12% of the energy produced by the site will be exported to the grid, with the remainder stored and used to help power the facility outside of daylight hours. By load shifting using the battery, grid import to the site is expected to be zero for most of the time.
The system is expected to generate 852,000kWh of electricity a year. The photovoltaic (PV) panels are located on carport canopies that also provide shelter above parking spaces, with solar energy generated by the system also powering the depot’s lighting, CCTV and heating.
EvoEnergy, a renewable energy solar installer, chose a SolarEdge DC-optimised system to compliment the curved solar arrays, where string inverters would have struggled to overcome energy loss due to module-level mismatch, and meet Leeds City Council’s energy generation targets and monitoring requirements.
Each pair of solar modules is connected to a power optimiser that enables each module to operate at its maximum efficiency, thus minimising the effect of any shading, uneven panel degradation or heavy soiling.
“This project is a sustainable example for other cities in the UK to follow,” said Jonathan Roper, principal renewable energy consultant at EvoEnergy.
“This site highlights how a project can positively impact a community, the local economy and businesses throughout the city by enabling renewable energy powered transportation and enhancing the volume of transport links.
“It’s a great step forward in sustainable electrification of transport, while overcoming local grid limitations and the essential need for smart energy solutions.”
Last year at the CiTTi Awards, Leeds City Council won the EV Charging Award for Stourton Park & Ride – the first fully solar-powered park and ride facility in the UK.
The site has been equipped with 26 x 7.5kW EV charging bays and 4 x 50kW chargers, providing support for both park and ride users as well as in-journey charging for those travelling along the adjacent strategic road network to, from or through Leeds.
What the winners said: “This is an excellent result for Leeds City Council and all the delivery partners involved. This was a very strong category with some excellent projects but we are very proud of the scheme we have delivered and feel it deserves recognition. For this reason this award is very welcomed.”
For this year’s CiTTi Awards, the deadline for nominations is 5pm on Monday 21 August 2023.
For more information on CiTTi Awards 2023, visit www.cittiawards.co.uk. For entry form enquiries, please contact Kajal Ravalia at email@example.com or 020 8037 1777. For sponsorship enquiries, please contact Iain McLean at firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 4558 0311