Members of the Brighton Energy Co-operative solar energy project braved the weather on Friday for the official launch of the new solar panels. In true British style the group took to the waters in the pouring rain, on the Port’s tug Adurni to make their journey down the length of the canal to where the solar panels are located at the Port.
The latest solar energy phase has involved installing 880 solar panels on the roof of Shed 10 on Basin Road South. This adds to the 366 panels at Hove Enterprise Centre that have been successfully operating since the summer of 2012. To mark many months of hard work and the installation of the panels, Local MP for Hove and Portslade, Mike Weatherley turned on the solar panels.
The solar panels in place have the capacity to generate up to 214kWp. The majority of electricity generated will be used on site at Shoreham Port to power the adjacent offices, vehicle repair workshop and other port buildings on the Brighton Terminal.
Mike Weatherley said “I am in full support of this excellent local project. It is great to see the community pulling together to create a greener Sussex. I am pleased to have been able to switch on the solar panels and look forward to the installation of further panels at Shoreham Port”.
Peter Davies, Development Director at Shoreham Port commented “As an Eco-port Shoreham will continue plans to significantly increase its use of green energy both from solar and wind to reduce its carbon footprint. It has been a pleasure working with the Brighton Energy Co-operative and we are confident that the investment in solar energy will prove to be a huge success.” A further phase of installation is planned for Shed 3a on the Port, which will be of a similar size.
Will Cottrell, Director at Brighton Energy Co-operative added “When we began there was a lot of scepticism around whether this could be done. Well, we've now raised more than £0.5million from local community investors and we just keep getting bigger and better. As the recent storms show, it's more important than ever to act on climate change. To do so with a 5% return offered on investment it's two for the price of one."