Cambridgeshire County Council’s vision is to deliver net zero carbon emissions for the region by 2050. As part of this, there is the opportunity to look at using some of its assets to produce and store electricity, in order to support the Government’s decarbonisation goals, whilst generating revenue.
The Council has already successfully developed a schools’ energy programme and invested £11million into 55 schools across the county. It has also constructed a 12 MW solar park at Triangle Farm in Soham, which generates clean energy and delivers over £350,000 per annum in net revenue to support Council services such as adult social care.
At the forefront of renewable energy investment, the Council and Bouygues E & S Solutions Limited are developing a 2.5 MW solar car port scheme at the Babraham Park and Ride, located in Great Shelford Parish just south of Cambridge, which will include battery storage and electric vehicle charging.
Cambridgeshire County Council is working alongside its partner agency PECT, the environmental charity, to deliver an awareness campaign on social media, with a series of online events about its Babraham Road Park and Ride (CB22 3AY) energy project this April and May. The aim is to offer opportunities for local residents, commuters and businesses to feedback on proposals to develop the site into an innovative solar car port canopy with battery storage and electric vehicle charging.
This pioneering project could pave the way for transport to move away from fossil fuels, improving air quality. Under the current model being developed, the solar photovoltaic modules could generate significant amounts of renewable electricity – the equivalent of powering 700 homes – and avoid the release of over 6,400 tonnes of CO2.
Sales of clean electricity would generate revenue to support the continued delivery of frontline services.
Green electricity will be used to provide energy for all on-site needs, such as lighting and CCTV cameras and additional electric vehicle chargers. However, the majority of electricity could be sold to a local customer.
Once complete, there will be no loss of car parking spaces, and in fact an additional 160 spaces have been incorporated into the plans to be ready before construction on the smart energy grid commences.
“This innovative project is one of the first of its kind in the UK,” explains Councillor Josh Schumann. “The success of this scheme could be replicated at park and rides across the region, paving the way for sustainable transport solutions of the future.”
The project team will be providing opportunities and online events for the public to learn more about the project ahead of a full planning application being submitted. Members of the public can join virtual Zoom events to hear more about the Babraham Park and Ride Smart Energy Scheme on the 22nd April – Earth Day 2020 – at 6pm (join via https://zoom.us/j/275764764), and the 6th May 2020 at 6pm (join at https://zoom.us/j/905380356).