Cambridgeshire County Council has received planning permission for what it claims will be the UK’s largest solar carport. The installation, which will be developed at the site of St Ives’ Park & Ride, is anticipated to be 948kW in size and combined with a battery storage system as part of a wider demonstrator project with collaboration from distribution network operator UK Power Networks (UKPN). Planning documents associated with the proposals do not include any prospective size of the storage unit. The council is combining with central government, St Ives town council, UKPN and local businesses in a bid to turn the scheme into a replicable model for future smart grid deployment. Should it prove successful, it is hoped that further systems of similar size and scope could be deployed elsewhere. Although billed as a potentially significant boon for the UK’s solar industry, carports have arguably yet to take off, with few installations of scale having been completed. Nottingham City Council installed a 76kW system at Harvey Hadden Leisure Centre in 2015, while SunGift claimed a UK first when it installed solar on a multi-story carport in Exeter the same month. The St Ives project may not be the UK’s largest for long, however, with Bentley Motors having last year won planning permission for a 3MW solar carport at its manufacturing facility in Cheshire.
Solar Power Portal 18th July 2017 read more »
A major solar power project in the Middle East will provide electricity during the night, the developers have said. The $1bn (£770m) scheme will provide up to 200 megawatts to the grid in Dubai between 4pm and 10am, according to the news service Bloomberg. Instead of generating electricity using photovoltaic cells, the system works by using mirrors to concentrate the sun’s energy and heat water. The heat is stored in molten salt and then used to create steam that drives a turbine. Paddy Padmanathan, chief executive of the Saudi Arabia-based company behind the project, ACWA Power International, told the news service that this system was likely to become more popular around the world. “I expect concentrated-solar power, within 18 months, to be head-to-head with combined-cycle gas, if not more competitive,” he said. “The focus has been on photovoltaic and batteries, but there’s a limit on how long they can hold a charge for. We’re proving that CSP [concentrated solar power] can work through the night.”
Independent 18th July 2017 read more »