An energy project is being developed which will transform St Ives Park & Ride into a renewable energy generator.
The project, between Cambridgeshire County Council and partner Bouygues Energies & Services, will see solar panels installed on carports above the two central zones of car parking spaces.
The panels will generate renewable electricity, powering not only the site, but also electric vehicle charge points and allow the sale of power to local businesses. The site will benefit from new energy efficient lighting and enhanced CCTV, as well as the creation of a wildlife area.
The £3.6million project is jointly funded by Cambridgeshire County Council and a grant to be secured from European Regional Development Funds. It will be one of the first of its kind in this country, paving the way for new business models to support future green energy projects.
The project will also include battery storage housed in shipping container-sized cabinets.
Alongside the construction of the clean energy project, Cambridgeshire County Council will be offering 40 small and medium-sized enterprises access to a Business Support Programme to share learning from the project.
This project will avoid the release of nearly 2,400 tonnes of CO2 over 25 years. These types of projects are key if the UK is to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Cllr Kevin Reynolds, representing St Ives South and Needingworth said: “This project will attract interest in St Ives both nationally and internationally and really put the town on the map as a forward-looking place to develop innovative projects. The project will provide benefits by providing clean energy, support to local businesses and the wider community.”
Construction is expected to start in late 2019 and will take 14 months to complete. During this time, the carpark will remain open, with construction taking place in phases to minimise impact on parking. For nearby residents, there will be some unavoidable noise and an increase in traffic during construction, however this will be carefully managed throughout.
Councillor Josh Schumann, Chair of the Commercial and Investment Committee overseeing the project said, “The Council’s vision is to secure renewable and resilient energy supplies and infrastructure that can support local needs. Cambridgeshire will do this whilst maximising commercial benefit for the Council.”
For further information about Council energy projects, please visit mlei.co.uk.