Aviva, one of the U.K.’s largest insurers, has completed one of the largest solar-powered carports in the U.K. at the company’s Scottish headquarters in Perth. The 1.07 MW carport array was built by RenEnergy, a renewable energy developer, using 3,283 Q.PEAK DUO-G5 solar modules from Q CELLS, a total energy solutions provider in the solar cell and module markets.
The recently completed solar carport will allow Aviva to self-consume 77% of the generated energy onsite, thanks to the presence of a 1.8 MWh Tesla powerpack battery and 50 individual electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. The solar carport covers 342 parking spaces. Plans to develop a solar carport began 18 months ago when RenEnergy began discussing further collaboration with Aviva following the completion of an inaugural solar carport at the insurer’s Norwich site. This 600 kW solar carport was completed in March 2019, also using Q.PEAK DUO solar modules supplied by Q CELLS.
“Rarely do you get the opportunity to work on an iconic Grade A-listed property and transform its energy performance and its contribution to climate change,” says Damian Baker, managing director of RenEnergy. “The challenge for this project was the integration of everything, including the site aesthetics, the solar carport, the EV charging infrastructure and the battery storage. Vital was that the client gets a return on investment and we ensure that all is communicated and managed seamlessly.”
The latest 1.07 MW solar carport was part-funded by the Scottish government and the EU. RenEnergy supported Aviva to table a bid to secure financing from the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme (LCITP), which is a European Regional Development fund created in unison with the EU and the Scottish government. In all, the LCITP met 50% of the CAPEX development costs of the solar carport, with Aviva financing the other 50%.
The completed carport can also power the entire Aviva site independent of the grid for five hours every day, thanks to the flexibility offered by the onsite Tesla battery, which will allow Aviva to consume stored solar energy during times of high electricity prices, thus delivering energy cost savings year-round.
The Q.PEAK DUO-G5’s half-cell layout with six bus bars and round wire interconnection help to maximize the efficiency of the cell performance, which is further boosted by Q CELLS’ proprietary and patent-protected Q.ANTUM technology – a passivation technique that boosts light-harvesting and controls the degradation effects of LID (light-induced degradation) and LeTID (light and elevated temperature induced degradation) to deliver greater durability and long-lasting performance.