Work is set to start on a solar and energy storage array at The Wave in South Gloucestershire to kick out solar-powered surf by June 2023. The Bristol surf facility says that planning, funding and contracts are now all in place for the solar installation, which will produce more energy than the wave pool and its surrounding facilities use every year – making the business Net Zero carbon in terms of its operational energy consumption.
In total the installation is forecast to generate 3,000,000 kWh (kilowatt hours) in year one – and The Wave’s current annual power consumption is c. 2,250,000 kWh. Excess power generated will be exported, contributing toward decarbonising the National Grid.
The unique inland surfing destination secured just over £1.45million European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Growth Programme funding, alongside match funding from South Gloucestershire Council in the form of a commercial loan, to make this exciting development possible.
The £3.2million project, will see a range of solar PV modules installed across the site, including a solar canopy over part of the car park and a solar ‘Smartflower’, which will act as an engaging renewable energy educational tool for visitors and school visits to The Wave. An electric vehicle charging ‘hub’ will also be installed on site for visitors with Ultra Low Emission vehicles to support the growing Electric Vehicle market. A co-located 380kWh Flow Machine battery, which is fully recyclable at the end of its life, will help to increase onsite usage generated from the solar panels.
“From the word go, we said we would use 100% renewable energy – it would have been so wrong for us to be using fossil fuels to power our waves, thereby contributing to climate change and the acidification of the oceans” said Nick Hounsfield founder of The Wave. “The plan was always to progress to be able to generate our own energy and to know that this will be a reality by next year is a dream come true.”
The installation of the Solar PV is being project managed by specialist renewable energy consultancy, Syzygy, and is due to be complete and start generating energy from June 2023.
The Wave added that the installation wouldn’t be possible without the match funding loan from South Gloucestershire Council. The local authority has been proactive in its response to the climate change emergency and supportive of businesses looking to make a positive difference.
One of The Wave’s investors and the project lead on the solar development, Nick Asheshov, sees The Wave at the tip of growing push for carbon neutral businesses in the area.
“We are very grateful for the support of South Gloucestershire Council, DLUHC and ERDF, and excited to showcase what is possible for businesses wanting to develop their own on-site renewable energy generation.”