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Solar park and ride 'carport' planned for St Ives would be country's largest

By Ben Comber

St Ives carport plans
St Ives carport plans

It would generate enough electricity to recharge electric vehicles and light the park and ride, and then some.

Cambridgeshire County Council has been granted planning permission to build a smart energy grid at the guided bus park and ride in St Ives.

Solar panels will be installed on canopies above parking spaces to generate electricity, which in turn will be used to power LED lighting and charge electric vehicles. Additional energy will be stored and sold.

The pilot project, which is an amalgamation of innovative and novel technologies, will be three times larger than the largest solar carport in the country if built and, if successful, will be rolled out to other sites around the county.

Cllr Josh Schumann, the council’s commercial and investment committee chair, said: “This innovative type of technology is part of many projects the council is looking at to develop its assets to reduce costs and generate income to support our services.”

The project relies on securing European Regional Development funds for half of the £3million project. The county council would fund the other half.

The council, government and others are working to make this scheme a model for the future.


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