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The array of solar panels Portsmouth City Council is installing to help harness the sun’s free energy is set to double by 2024.

The council is already a leading light in solar and the Lakeside project in North Harbour will see the installation of nearly 8,925 more panels.

Portsmouth City Council probably already has the largest rooftop solar power generation capacity of any council in the country with 400 installations of its own.

The journey began in 2011 with a total capacity now exceeding 6.3MW; equating to more than 20,000 individual solar panels and able to provide power to 2,000 homes.

With ongoing and upcoming solar projects, the council expects the portfolio to grow to more than 12.5MW by end of 2024. This will reduce the council’s carbon emissions by more than 3,000 tonnes per annum.

Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment, Cllr Kimberly Barrett said:

“Next year is an exciting one for our solar power generation in Portsmouth with one iconic project at Portsmouth International Port nearing completion and another at Lakeside soon to begin.

“We are expecting to start work on the Lakeside solar and battery installation this spring and, because of the scale of what we’re doing, we’re looking at a year to finish it. This will be the largest such system in the UK, as far as we know, and shows our growing innovation and expertise in renewable energies here in Portsmouth.

“We’re a compact city but we make the best of what we have with the largest rooftop solar power generation of any UK local authority, and now adding car parks to the list of assets on which we generate solar power. The Lakeside development will propel us even further ahead – by the end of 2024 we should have double the capacity of what we have now.”

The council’s focus isn’t just on commercial, industrial and office roofs. Switched On Portsmouth, the council’s in-house home energy service, is also supporting the deployment of solar to private homes, including through the fully-funded Warmer Homes scheme. For more details, and to see if you might qualify for solar or other energy saving measures, please visit: www.switchedonportsmouth.co.uk