Port of Hull Now Has UK's Largest Rooftop Solar Farm

simon bird
Image courtesy Custom Solar

Published Nov 12, 2020 6:21 PM by The Maritime Executive

Associated British Ports (ABP) has turned on the largest commercial rooftop solar array in the United Kingdom - a $9 million, 21,000-panel installation at the Port of Hull. 

The array has a nameplate capacity of 6.5 MW, equivalent to the power demand of about 1,500 homes or about 30 percent of the port's power needs. It will displace about 2,900 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year from conventional grid power sources.

"I’m delighted that the Port of Hull now holds the accolade of the UK’s largest, commercial rooftop array. Our ambition is to keep reducing the emissions that port operations generate by implementing a mix of clean energy production and investing further in hybridized port equipment," said ABP Humber director Simon Bird. “Every bit of effort and investment to lower our carbon footprint contributes to the region’s environmental targets. This scheme and others like it also help to secure ABP’s energy supply, making great commercial and environmental sense.”

After two years of planning and design work, contractor Custom Solar began installing the 21,000 solar panels in October 2019, and the job was completed in August 2020. COVID-19 did not impede the progress of the work, according to the firm. 

With the completion of the pace-setting project at Hull, 17 out of ABP's 21 ports are equipped with renewable power generation infrastructure. At the port of Immingham, the UK's largest port by tonnage, ABP partnered with Custom Solar on the installation of 3.7 MW of rooftop solar capacity in 2017-18. It won the "commercial installation of the year" award from a UK solar energy industry magazine.