Bedford Road, Southampton, electric car charging station, public charging station

Cleaning Transport with Southampton City Council

 

Addressing Local Air Quality

Southampton City Council have just completed the installation of 30 electric vehicle chargepoints in the city centre multi-storey car parks.  The scheme is part of a wider city council programme on clean transport aimed at improving air quality in the region by reducing particulates and NOx emissions, which includes encouraging public transportation and  reducing idling engines.  Councillor Christopher Hammond outlines the case : “We’ve been one of 5 places in the UK identified as having an air quality issue, so addressing this is a priority for our local sustainable transport agenda. We’re working extremely hard to improve local air quality in Southampton and encouraging the uptake of electric vehicles is a very important part of our strategy.”

The idea behind the EV charging station programme is to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles in the region by making public charging infrastructure more visible.  When the public can see that there is a wide network of public EV charging stations, it reduces range anxiety and encourages the purchase of EVs.  As EVs become more widely adopted this will have positive knock on consequences for air quality, as well as lower CO2 emissions from a climate change perspective.  “We’re also encouraging the uptake of electric vehicles by offering a 90% reduction in parking charges, and we’re consulting on making the Itchen Bridge toll-free for electric cars.”

EV chargepoints for public car parks

Southampton City Council settled on 5 central multi-storey car parks for the first phase of their EV charge station programme, with 6 chargepoints installed at each location.  The sites have high usage, and comparatively long stay times, which means the chargepoints will have good utilisation.  Additionally, electricity already existed on site, and new grid supplies did not need to be installed.  This allowed a quick turnaround on the project, and Joju completed the project around  in 6 weeks from contract award to commissioning and handover.

The council chose New Motion smart chargers for the project for three main reasons.  First, they offer dynamic load balancing, which allows available power to be smartly allocated between cars without overloading the electrics.  Joju Operations Director, Joe Gabriel, explains: “We’ve installed a 22kW 3-phase connection at each site to power the 6 chargers.  If one car is charging, this will receive the full 22kW, equivalent to a 3-phase fast charger.  If three cars are charging, each will receive 7.2 kW, equivalent to a normal fast home charger.  And if all 6 bays are in use simultaneously this drops to 3.6kW.  It means we can be certain we won’t overload the wires if there’s a high charging demand.”   The units also allow users to access via a smart card, and although the scheme will be free initially, in future it will allow the council to make a small charge to the users.  Third, the council also liked the “simple, sleek, smart and subtle” look of the New Motion units, which were considered less gaudy than other alternatives.

Smooth Project Management

Although the works were broadly straightforward, the scheme wasn’t without operational challenges.  The Marlands site had an old electrical fuseboard which required shutting down by the grid operator so we could safely make the connection.  A 2-hour slot was scheduled to make the connection, during which time all lifts in the multi-storey were out of action.  The Joju team managed the flow of people and cars during this time to ensure that customer visits were as hassle free as possible while the works were carried out.

Rob Gloyns, Clean Air Zone Project Officer commented:  “We were grateful for Joju’s smooth project management as it allowed the council to take a more hands-off approach to the delivery phase.  They have been extremely straightforward to deal with, and we’ve known exactly who at Joju has been dealing with what.”

Just the Beginning

Councillor Hammond sums up the first phase of the scheme “We’ve been very pleased with the partnership we’ve built with Joju to install these units – it’s been a seamless piece of project delivery, completed to a very high standard.”  The programme can now focus on expanding the scheme to other areas of the city, including ground car parks and on-street parking.  Joju have also recently won a tender for the installation of EV chargepoints across Hampshire, so the Southampton scheme will be integrated with a wider EV charging station roll-out across the county.

Further Reading

Solar social housing in Brighton

Brighton and Hove City Council commits to tackling both poverty and climate change

The Challenge

Government-imposed budget cuts, inner-city poverty and adaptation to climate change is a triptych of problems that face UK city councils. Brighton & Hove City Council is committed to tackling all three issues one way it has found to address all them is by investing in solar panels for its social housing stock.

Solar PV is a triple win for social housing landlords: it means reduced electricity bills for tenants, reductions in carbon emissions and a reliable income source for 20 years. A triple win that directly combats the triple issue problem that councils are facing.

In 2015 Cllr Bill Randall, the council’s Chair of Housing, said about Brighton’s actions: “We’ve made great progress installing solar panels on our estates. We also sell the surplus energy we’re generating back to the grid and this money goes back into the city’s housing services.”

“£1.55 million is to be invested into solar photovoltaic (PV) panels for council housing over the next financial year,” he added. “Plans are in hand to bring forward the money earmarked for 2015/16 for a further 300 houses and 10 sheltered schemes. Beyond that, we hope to bring solar panels to further 1,000 homes.”

The Solution

Joju Solar designed and installed the Brighton solar project. Installations were completed on more than 200 homes, with system sizes varying between 2 and 3 kWp based on the available roof space. A total capacity of 980 kWp was installed during the project.

During the project improved supply chain logistics to allow for the smooth development of five installations per day per Joju team which helped to streamline the process and improve the efficiency of the whole project ensuring that Joju delivered the project at the best cost possible to the council.

What the residents said

After solar panels were installed on her house in Manor Way, Gwendoline Walls said: “It’s the best thing ever. I really can’t praise it enough. I cooked a meal on my electric cooker, ran the washing machine and dryer, and it only cost me 21p. It’s amazing. I can really see the difference in my bills. Plus they actually look pretty nice on the roof.”

Another resident, in Pulborough Close, said: “No troubles, no hold-ups – it was very easy. The installers were very friendly. The installation was neatly done, with nothing disturbed in the house. We’ve had no problems at all with the system. Plain sailing. We’re very happy with it.”

On any project one of Joju’s main goals is to help residents save on energy bills. We have been part of many social housing projects, and every single one is still special to us, as it brings us all nearer to a low carbon way of living.

 

 

 

 

Protecting homes from rising energy costs in Newham

Newham Council’s showpiece sustainable housing development goes solar

About the installation
Joju Solar won a competitive public tender to install a 20kWp system comprising 72 Sanyo/Panasonic 240W modules and 52 bespoke 45Wp brise soleil louvres on a brand new showpiece sustainable housing development for the London borough of Newham.

Installation time: 2 weeks

Challenge
To design and install an efficient solar PV system within complex architectural constraints and at the same time deliver strong financial returns. The PV installation needed to fit within a very tight program of works.

The new housing development was designed to lead the way in terms of both new sustainable home building and also to be a showcase in the borough for sustainable living. The solar installation was a key factor in allowing the client to meet the level five code for sustainable homes (a mandatory building requirement).

Solution
Joju Solar worked with the architect, principal contractor and other contractors involved in the development to meet the ambitious design limitations and tight program of works and delivered the project on time and on budget.
Our engineers designed a bespoke mounting system which allowed for the solar panels to be mounted above a green
living roof. The installation will deliver a high rate of return whilst at the same time helping the development achieve its sustainability targets.

What they said

Pip Watson, Principal Environmental Health Officer said “We wanted to lead the way in sustainable living locally. Joju delivered a bespoke installation which ticks the green box but will also reap strong financial returns for
the housing development.”

 

 

Merton Council leads the way

Merton Council

London Council leads the way with green energy portfolio

Merton Borough Council have added over 200kWp solar PV to their impressive portfolio of solar in the last 3 months, creating 190,000kWh of free energy for local Schools every year.

Merton Council continue to demonstrate their green energy leadership by being the first council to install solar PV following the cuts to the FITs believing in the benefits that solar PV provide to the council despite the reductions in rates.

Challenges 

Merton had an impressive portfolio of solar PV before Joju started working for them. Sadly there previous installer had gone out of business and as a result left them with a number of sites which were not functioning correctly. They needed a new contractor to help them continue their program and fix any pre-existing system issues. This is where Joju were able to step in. Merton selected us to carry on the work because of our high ranking on the Fusion21 framework and based on personal recommendations.

The benefits

Each School has benefitted through reduced bills. At the same time the Schools’ have the capacity to access up-to-date data produced by the PV system, which is be used for educational purposes. The Council also see a long-term return on their investment through the new FIT.

What they said about us

“Joju Solar installed over 170 kWp of solar panels in under 2 months on challenging school sites across the London Borough of Merton. All stages of the process from planning to install were excellent and we have received high praise from the sites themselves about the way their teams worked on site.

Even in the current Feed in Tariff regime we can see the benefits of installing PV on sites and we are very pleased to have partnered with Joju for these installs and will be continuing to work with them in the future.”

Cabinet member for Environmental Sustainability and Regeneration, Councillor Andrew Judge said: “The installation of so many solar panels to our buildings around Merton is integral to the future of our community. I’m delighted as these solar panels will not only help save money and cut running costs by generating our own electricity, but will also allow the borough to become more environmentally friendly.”

You can read about the installations on Merton Council Website here

Watch a video on the installation here

Metropolitan Police Training Centre

Metropolitan Police Specialist Training Centre receives specialist solar installation

Challenge

The Metropolitan Police wanted to help meet their carbon reduction targets and at the same time generate a long term revenue stream. The installation had to be completed within an extremely tight timeframe within a very complicated live operational environment: the riot police training facility is located beside the installation roof site.

Solution

Joju Solar are live environment retrofit specialists and were able to carry out this installation without any impact on the site’s operations. Our expert project management skills ensured that the project was installed on time and to budget. A  118 kWp system was installed consisting of  529 Sharp 240W Polycrystalline modules and multiple Solarmax inverters across two separate profiled metal roofs at the Training Centre in Gravesend. The system was mounted on a bespoke aluminium racking system especially designed by Joju Solar. The installation time was just two weeks.

“The construction process was well-planned and safely executed and the installations were completed within budget and to exacting timescales.” Martin Jameson, Compliance Director, John Laing Integrated Services.

Oxford University Engineering Department

Oxford University, Engineering Department receives expert Solar PV engineering

Challenge

Oxford University is one of Europe’s most innovative and entrepreneurial universities. They wanted to design and install a PV solar energy system that could help provide students with a more effective way of studying renewable energy. At the same time the system had to be fitted on the roof of the engineering department without penetrating the roof membrane and invalidating the roof’s warranty. Joju also had to integrate the solar energy monitoring system with the department’s existing IT infrastructure.

Solution

The project required a certain amount of innovation  in order to secure the panels onto the flat roof flat roof without fixing them to the building. The problem was solved by instead using ballasted buckets. Joju Solar also obtained a 40% grant for the installation from the government, on behalf of the client.

 

Benefits

Through the 1.36kWp system the University gained an invaluable teaching aid that is used for students across various courses, helping them to understand first hand PV and microgeneration, and helping support its reputation as a world class leader in technology and environmental research. The photovoltaic (PV) system will pay for itself within its guaranteed lifetime.

 

Project ERIC

Social Housing tenants in Rose Hill reduce energy bills through the installation of solar PV.

Project ERIC (Energy Resources for Integrated Communities) is a collaborative research project part funded by the UK government (Innovate UK) to investigate how using innovative energy storage technology can help a community to save energy. Working in collaboration with  Oxford City Council, GreenSquare, Bioregional and Moixa Technology. Joju were chosen as the Solar PV provider for the project. Project ERIC represents a £1.2 million investment in Rose Hill over two years.

Project ERIC’s main aims were to help reduce the energy bills of low income residential tenants in the community while at the same time help generate long-term savings for the council and reduce the carbon footprint of the city. Project ERIC aims to demonstrate that 100% of Solar PV energy generated in Rose Hill can be used by the community.

Joju were proud to be a part of such an innovative and important research project that promoted community energy. We were selected as a partner and collaborator for the Project through the Buy for Good procurement framework, which recognised Joju as the highest ranked provider in the area. The City Council were also keen to select local suppliers to work on the Project.

Joju Solar led the installs of solar PV in Rose Hill alongside the council working to a very ambitious schedule in order to achieve the best possible Feed-in-Tariff. Joju were also supportive in helping the ERIC team support tenants and maximise the learnings within the project.

Reading Borough Council

Reading Borough Council takes a lead on solar PV.

Reading Borough Council was one of the first UK local authorities to spot the opportunity of solar energy when they installed solar photovoltaic systems on 43 public buildings back in 2011

Once Reading Borough Council had proved that solar PV could work on their corporate buildings, the next step was to look at their social housing stock. Could they make an investment that would produce an acceptable rate of return, reduce fuel poverty and cut the council’s carbon footprint?

Careful design
As genuine solar experts, Joju Solar understood that getting the most from Reading’s investment meant:
carrying out an accurate assessment of roofs;
finding the right balance of fixed and variable costs when deciding system size; and
selecting the right components to secure the best system for the price.

Joju Solar conducted a full desktop survey of all potential properties, identifying the 450 roofs most suitable for the systems. The final proposal comprised nearly 7,000 panels with a total generation capacity of 1.67 MWp – equivalent to powering 720,000 smartphones for an entire year.

Happy Tenants
Joju Solar had considerable experience of tenant liaison, developed during previous social housing contracts, and worked closely with the council to generate awareness and enthusiasm for the project. Both partners knew that, to have the greatest impact, tenants had to understand what was going on and appreciate the benefits that they stood to gain.

Cllr Richard Davies, Reading’s Lead Member for Housing, said: “We worked very hard to select the houses according to their suitability for solar panels, but in fact all tenants benefited from the project because those whose homes did not fit the criteria were provided with help to find other ways to reduce their energy consumption and their fuel bills.”

Smooth installation
Using installation teams and project managers with experience from previous social housing projects, Joju set about installing 450 PV systems in three months.

Solar PV – a quadruple win
The Reading project has attracted positive coverage in the local press. Joju Solar Founder and Commercial Director, Joe Michaels, is delighted: “Solar PV is a quadruple win for social housing landlords like Reading,” he says. “It provides a guaranteed financial return, an extension on roofing life, assistance with fuel poverty targets, and carbon savings.”