New good practice guidance for multifunctional solar car parks is launched

A new guide by BRE National Solar Centre and carport design and manufacturing company FlexiSolar looks at the best way to deliver multifunctional solar car parks that combine renewable energy generation with energy storage and EV charging points.

‘Multifunctional Solar Car Parks: a good practice guide for owners and developers’ provides an outline of the key factors to be considered when developing a business case for a multifunctional car park project from planning through to delivery. These include funding models, planning permission, regulations, design options and procurement.

Funded by Innovate UK and launched at Ecobuild, the Guide shows how multifunctional solar carports can add value to car parks by improving their economic and environmental performance.

Chris Coonick, Senior Consultant and author of the guide said: ‘At present there are few documents that cover the integration of solar with other technologies such as storage and EV charging.  As the UK Government seeks to include more renewable energy in the energy mix, solving problems associated with intermittent renewables generation will become more imperative due to the inflexibility of our electricity distribution network, as mentioned in the recent Clean Growth Strategy. Low carbon solutions which balance electricity supply and demand are required to achieve this, and multifunctional solar car parks can be part of this solution.’

Robert Carpenter, Managing Director at FlexiSolar said, ‘The National Grid estimates that there could be over 1 million EVs on the road by 2020 and 9 million by 2030. Multifunctional solar carports can provide a more welcoming EV charging experience for users, offering accessible and well-lit spaces protected from the weather and supplying clean, renewable energy for their EV. Multifunctional solar car parks are typically more cost effective than installing the three technologies (PV, energy storage and EV charge points) separately, as they share infrastructure and project delivery costs.’

Dr Nina Skorupska CBE, Chief Executive of the Renewable Energy Association said: ‘The national roll out of EV charging infrastructure that is reliable, accessible, and affordable is an increasingly urgent issue to ensure the delivery of the Government’s ambition to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2040. The integration of solar and storage can help facilitate this historic transport shift, whilst ensuring that it is renewable energy powered to boot.’

Free to download, the Guide which includes a number of international multifunctional solar car park case studies is aimed at investors and developers considering new opportunities for deploying solar generation as a way to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, provide energy security, reduce energy costs and deliver new revenue streams.

For further information, please contact the BRE National Solar Centre.
 National Grid (2017) Future Energy Scenarios