East Riding of Yorkshire Council's story
The Housing and Public Building Carbon Reduction programme, part funded by the European Regional Development fund (ERDF), was undertaken to reduce the Council's carbon emissions. increase the renewable energy generating capacity of the Council, reduce fuel poverty within the seaside town of Bridlington and to increase the EV charging infrastructure available within the authority to remove some range anxiety for our residents.
The ERDF funds which supported the project enabled the Council to develop and install its first Solar Farm, and will lead to the Council's first Solar carport installation. The £2.5 million project is being delivered by the Council with a number of local contractors.
Additionally East Riding of Yorkshire Council has been able to increase the number of EV chargers available for residents and public users visiting the region, which has allowed for the removal of some of the range anxiety that is present when considering the move to an electric vehicle.
Furthermore the installation of external wall insulation has allowed for some of the Council's worst performing social housing to be addressed and improve the energy efficiency of these buildings, in turn reduces residents energy bills and giving them the chance to move away from fuel poverty which is often highest in seaside towns.
Useful learnings from East Riding of Yorkshire Council
The project started a number of years ago when it was announced another round of ERDF funding would be available. Initial desktop based worked allowed for us to highlight roofs that were suitable for PV, consulting information that was presently held on file to ensure the roofs were structurally sound. If any roofs had unknowns, a structural specialist was employed to carry out the required checks to ensure suitability, while planning approvals were sought for the installation of a solar farm, roof top PV works and a solar car port. All of the sites eligible were assessed for their demand to ensure the PV were sized correctly to ensure that the majority of the generation could be used within the building itself, without having to export to grid, this ensured that the financial case stacked up for the project.
While developing the project it was clear that very few organisations had managed to power a caravan park like the one at South Cliff, included in the project with PV, for most commercial organisations it was not feasible financially, the Council was therefore in a prime position to make a statement around it's green credentials are allow for people to holiday with reduced emissions.
I would say that the key is to keep the site staff on side from the outset, there are likely to be issues that will crop up, some disruption that may take place, if you involve all the relevant stakeholders throughout, this will lead to a smoother transition through the project from development to delivery.
There were a number of issues that were faced, supply chain issues surrounding Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic really affected the timeframes that were initially planned. Furthermore, the EV chargers often could end up drawing more than the capacity from the electrical board meaning that a optimiser was required before the EV charger could be made operational, it is vital that the capacity of the board is known and these optimisers are assessed and sized correctly.
I think it is really important to assess the sites sufficiently to ensure the sizing of the PV are correct, financially, it doesn't make sense presently to oversize and send to the grid for small amounts of income and the PV should be sized to save on the electricity required from the grid, although it is important to think further forward, there will likely be a wider rollout of EV chargers in the future, potentially size and upgrade boards.
East Riding of Yorkshire Council's metrics
Amount of solar energy infrastructure.
Amount of EV charging infrastructure, the use and availability of these points (increased numbers) are used to measure the success.
Carbon emission reductions.