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East Riding's first solar carport installed in Driffield

East Riding of Yorkshire Council recently completed the installation of a solar carport at East Riding Leisure (ERL) Driffield.

ERL Driffield Solar Carport
Credit: Driffield & Wolds Weekly

The installation is the first of its kind undertaken by the local authority and it is thought to be the first solar carport within the East Riding.

The carport houses 52.4-kilowatt peak (kWp) of solar photovoltaics (pv) along with two 7.4kW dual electric vehicle charging units. Solar pv is the generation of electricity using energy from the sun.

The installation is expected to generate around 52,200-kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity, reducing the carbon emissions associated with the site by 9 tonnes and reducing the centre's electricity bills by almost £20,000 per year.

The installation of electric vehicle (EV) chargers will also support residents of the East Riding in the transition to EV, minimising the range anxiety that can often be felt within a rural area. Range anxiety is the driver's fear that a vehicle has insufficient energy storage (fuel and/or battery capacity) to cover the distance needed to reach their destination.

The council's asset strategy team was successful in securing funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) towards the installation of solar pv, a solar farm, a solar carport and EV charging units across the authority.

The final strand of this scheme is the installation of a solar carport at East Riding Leisure Driffield. The leisure centre uses significant amounts of electricity, and the roof has already been subject to solar pv installations.

The solar carport is seen as an innovative solution to allow the council to add additional renewable energy generation to supply the site. The scheme also includes two dual EV charging units which are available for users of the facility to charge their electric vehicles.

The scheme cost in the region of £300,000 with almost 50% of the funding coming from ERDF.

The council's infrastructure and facilities team along with contractor JP Developers ensured the scheme was delivered on time, on budget and with minimal disruption to the centre users.

Councillor Chris Matthews, portfolio holder for environment and climate change at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: "It is fantastic to see the installation of what is thought to be the first carport in the East Riding and certainly the first provided by the council.  

"This innovative solution allows us to continue to work towards realising the council's net zero ambitions whilst also allowing ERL Driffield to reduce their electricity bills during this cost-of-living crisis.

"I'm really pleased this work has been achieved with minimal disruption to our residents and now the people of Driffield have further EV charging units on their doorsteps."

Darren Jackson, general manager at ERL Driffield, added: "The solar carport is a really innovative way to generate green energy, tackle climate change and reduce our environmental impact. It's a fantastic design that delivers on the environmental benefits without impacting on car park provision for our customers."

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