Test Valley, Chantry Centre, car park, EV charge point, Test Valley, fully funded

Test Valley’s fully-funded charge points

Test Valley Borough Council have recently installed 14 electric vehicle charge points across eight public car parks in Andover and Romsey.    Along the way, they have navigated uncertainties around usage levels, a wide range of technical options and different financial offerings.

It’s a story that’s common to councils nationwide as they begin their own transitions to EVs.

Where to start?

Central government has outlined its ambitions to ban internal combustion engine vehicles from sale by 2035.  While this is a noble ambition, it has fallen to local authorities to provide the necessary infrastructure for the switch to electric.   Local authorities then have to find a way of solving the problem, often starting from scratch.

Steve Raw, Engineering and Transport Manager outlined the problem. “We were very aware of a lack of knowledge and expertise within the Borough Council in terms of how best to proceed.  There are many types of chargers and various procurement and funding models available, so it’s hard to know where to start.

It’s also fraught with risk, especially around levels of usage of the charge points, once installed. “Our worst-case scenario would be installing charge points that weren’t used.  Our car park in Romsey often reaches 90% capacity at peak times, so if dedicated EV bays were empty, it would pressurise the whole system.”

It’s easy to imagine the criticism such a scenario might invite.  For that reason, Test Valley Borough Council were reluctant to commit council funds towards an EVCP programme.

Deciding to install an EV charge point programme

Nonetheless, with central government making their electric transport vision clear, and local councillors keen to push forward with green infrastructure projects, the Council decided to take the plunge and install in CPs in Andover and Romsey. “It’s a chicken and egg situation – without public EVCPs, the public don’t have the confidence to switch to EVs.  But without EVs there’s no-one to use the EVCPs”.  The sensible way to solve this puzzle is to install smaller EVCP programmes and expand them as the electric vehicle stock increases.

Assistance from the Central Southern Regional Framework

Test Valley Borough Council contacted Hampshire County Council about the Central Southern Regional Framework which provides an efficiency procurement route for EV infrastructure.  “As a contract manager, we’d need to employ a transport consultant or build up our in-house knowledge.  The Central Southern Regional Framework allowed us to piggy-back off of the learning from other projects under the scheme.  And importantly, it also offered the possibility of external funding.

Advice and Charge Point Funding from Joju Charging

Joju undertook a full feasibility study, which looked at possible locations for the charge points and their expected usage.  The feasibility study provided I formation on:

  • Whether a site is considered viable, unviable or marginal
  • Whether there is access to existing electrical infrastructure
  • Whether the site is best suited for fast or rapid chargers
  • Estimated costs (pre-survey)

Under the Central Southern Framework, public authorities have the option of using Joju to provide finance for EVCPs.  Here we pay for the charge points and recoup the investment by charging drivers for charging from the EV charge points.  Test Valley Brough Council followed this approach as it takes the investment risk away from the public sector.  In future, councils can deploy far more public charge points across their regions via a funded route than would be possible if purely council funded.

A fully-funded charge point programme

Test Valley Borough Council now have a total of 14 electric vehicle charge points (with 18 useable sockets), installed across eight sites.   Sites in Andover that now have EV infrastructure include Borden Gates, Chantry Centre, Shepherd’s Spring Lane, George Yard, and South Street.  Alma Road, Lortemore Place, and Princes Road in Romsey also have new EV charge points.

The sites are operating under a mix of funding models.  Joju Charging fully funds three locations, and the other five are part-funded by the Council.  The latter was made possible as with Joju’s assistance; the Council successfully applied for an OLEV grant under the on-street residential charging scheme (ORCS) the five jointly-funded sites.

We’ll be reviewing the performance of the charge points over the coming years.  Once we get to a point where EV drivers can’t charge because the bays are full and there’s not enough capacity, we can expand the provision of charge points.  We’ve learned a lot along the way and could do a second phase very easily”.

Find out more

Councillor Tony Page, Reading Borough Council, lamp post charger, lamp post electric car charging point, City EV, Cityline100

Lamp post charging points in Reading

Like many councils across the country, Reading Borough Council are looking at providing electric car charging infrastructure for their residents.  The aim is to increase the uptake of electric vehicles across their region, and thereby reduce carbon dioxide emissions (climate change) and NOx and particulate pollution (local air quality and public health).

Electric vehicle charging infrastructure is clearly required and it is up to local government to provide it.”, explained Councillor Tony Page.  “We’re therefore looking at all options to increase uptake of EV within the Borough”.

Given that there are an estimated 52,000 people in Reading with no off-street parking, Reading Borough Council decided to develop a scheme that could serve this section of the community.

Lamp post charging points

The most elegant solution in this case is to use lamp post electric car chargers.  These use small EV charge points attached to the lamp post itself and served from the existing electrical supply to that lamp post.  It removes the need for additional street furniture, by using the existing infrastructure.

Joju were chosen to install a total of 15 charge points on lamp posts on Coventry Road, Filey Road, Manchester Road, St Bartholemews Road, East Street, Anstey Road Caversham Road and Wantage Road.  The locations were chosen from responses to the council’s ‘Go Electric’ public consultation, whereby residents with an electric car, or planning to get an electric car, could request charge points in their locality.

City EV’s lamp post chargers

For this project, we chose City EV Cityline 100 Smart Charging units.  These are ‘Elexon approved’, which means they are certified for  being used powered by unmetered public street lighting. The charge points are currently free to use, but in future they will be accessed by RFID card or via a mobile phone app.  City EV also make a contactless card payment version of the charge point, which offers another convenient payment method for councils.

The lamp post charging points are 3.6 kW units due to the size of the electricity supply to the lamppost, but these are perfectly sufficient for an overnight charge.

Procuring lamp post charging points

The scheme was procured through the Central Southern Regional Framework, providing Reading Borough Council with a rapid and simple procurement and project development process.  The Framework is developing a coherent charging network for councils across the south of England.

Sites for lamp post electric car chargers

Although the Go Electric consultation produced a long list of potential sites, not all of these were technically simple.  Many of the lamp posts in Reading are on the house side of the pavement, meaning that additional street side columns would be required, plus additional cabling running under the pavement from the lamp post.

Therefore, for this first phase it was decided to focus solely on simple lamp post charging points and so the sites chosen were those where the lamp posts were located on the kerb side of the pavement.

Technically the installation of the charge points was very simple – the electricity supply was already in place so it was just a question of mounting the charge point on the lamp post column and registering this with the back-office payment system.  It’s also more cost effective – because the electricity supply is already in place, the expense of getting new connections can be saved.

The future of lamp post charging points

These lamp post charging points are just the start for Reading Borough Council. “We’re bringing forward our new Transport Plan, which will take a broader more holistic view of transport in the City”, said Councillor Page.  “We recognise that switching from fossil fuel vehicles to EVs helps with pollution, but doesn’t address congestion in the city – a car is a car, electric or not!  So it’s important to take a broader vision of transport, and look at more radical potential options like introducing low emission zones”. That said, further lamp post charging points, as well as units in public car parks and workplaces, are likely to be developed over the coming years.

Overall, lamp post charging points are an ideal technical solution for low cost, simple charging solutions for urban areas that lack off street parking.  With 40% of homes nationwide having no off-street parking, lamp post electric car chargers look an essential piece of technology for making the electric vehicle transition available to all.

Find Out More ….

  • We’re helping public authorities develop their electric vehicle charging infrastructure.  You can see our case studies here
  • We’re appointed to the Transport for London framework, specifically to install lamp post electric car chargers across London Boroughs
  • See here for further information about lamp post charging points

 

solar roof tiles, integrated solar, BIPV, ThamesWey

ThamesWey’s Innovative Battery Microgrid

ThamesWey has recently installed an innovative solar/battery microgrid at a housing estate in Woking.  ThamesWey are a private company, owned by Woking Borough Council, set up to drive carbon reductions and the wider sustainability agenda in the Borough.  They own and manage over 600 properties in support of the Council’s Housing Strategy. ThamesWey offer a range of private rental properties including homes at more affordable rents and key worker accommodation.   ThamesWey have a long history in the solar energy sector; back in the 2000’s, and long before feed-in tariffs were established, they were the leading institution installing solar panels in the UK.  They installed their first solar panels back in 2001, and had installed over 5000 solar panels by 2012.

“It’s in our business plan to trial new technologies, so we wanted to run a demonstrator of centralised battery storage”, explains Rachel Lambert, ThamesWey’s Environmental Projects Manager.  “We wanted to find a solution that saved carbon, whilst simultaneously offering a strong economic case.  At the current state of technology, that required a highly innovative project”.

A Microgrid Serving 14 homes

The site chosen was a group of 14 homes, which already had solar PV installed as integrated solar roof tiles on 12 of the properties since 2010.  ThamesWey built the properties to code 5 of the former Code for Sustainable Homes , and designed them to run off their own private wire network.  ThamesWey import electricity into a substation, and then distribute  this electricity on to the connected homes.

“We came up with a concept of installing batteries at the substation as part of our own microgrid”, said Sam Pepper, Environmental Projects Officer.  “The idea was to capture the excess solar electricity that was being produced during the day, and to use this to benefit all the homes on the network, including those without  solar”.

Developing a microgrid with batteries

ThamesWey asked Joju Solar to help design and implement the scheme.  We undertook extensive modelling of the site, looking at ½ hourly usage and generation across the homes, and predicting what would happen if batteries were incorporated.

This was also a full financial model. ThamesWey buy in electricity that is priced every ½ hour on a real time tariff.  As a ‘commercial’ user, ThamesWey also incur high additional charges of 8p/kWh (called DUoS charges) at peak times between 4pm and 7pm every weekday.  We looked at the savings possible for a variety of battery models and operational regimes.

We settled on the installation of 3 x Tesla Powerwalls for a number of reasons:

  • Tesla offer the cheapest storage per kWh of battery capacity
  • Using 3 Powerwalls allows 40.2 kWh of electricity to be stored.
  • The 3 Powerwalls can supply 15kW of instantaneous power, allowing the aggregated load of the homes to be fully covered for most of the year
  • The Tesla Powerwall can be set up to import cheap, cleaner, night time electricity in winter months, adding additional savings when there isn’t excess solar available
  • The Tesla Powerwall can be set up to preferentially discharge when electricity prices are high to maximise savings – in this case during the peak DUoS periods of weekday evenings. By eliminating consumption across the 14 homes in the peak period, DUoS charges become zero.
  • An additional benefit of load shifting out of the peak period is that this is also when the grid is the dirtiest in terms of utilising fossil fuels.

Overall the scheme offers the best economics we have seen for behind the meter batteries, with a full return on investment within the 10 year warrantied lifetime of the Tesla Powerwall.

This centralised approach is approximately 5 times cheaper than the alternative of installing a battery in each home, showing the advantage of deploying batteries into a microgrid.

Installing a battery Microgrid

Joju installed the batteries at the substation over a 3-day period.  The only issue faced with the installation was making the final connection between the batteries and the supply in the substation, which needed to be switched off to manage the works safely.  Homeowners were informed in advance by letter that their supply would be briefly interrupted on the final day, and the necessary connection was made within 15 minutes.

Batteries for Sites with Landlord’s Supply

The ThamesWey project is a clear demonstrator of the strong economic case for batteries within a microgrid context.  At first glance it might seem that this kind of site is fairly unique, but the same approach can be adopted wherever there is a landlord’s electricity supply in place – most commonly in blocks of flats.  Any situation where the landlord buys electricity into a building (or site), and then sells on electricity to tenants, can benefit from battery storage behind the landlords meter (but in front of the tenants).  It’s a model Joju Solar are now rolling out at numerous sites across the country.

Mark Rolt, ThamesWey’s Chief Executive Officer concludes “We were delighted to work with Joju Solar to install these batteries at our substation as part of an innovative trial of a centralised battery. The associated carbon savings from maximising the use of energy generated from a renewable energy technology supports our founding commitment to reduce carbon emissions in the Borough.”

Find Out More

 

Bitterne, rapid charger, taxi, fast charger, bay markings, ev only

Rapid Chargers in Southampton

As part of their ongoing wider city council programme on clean transport to improve air quality; Southampton City Council have introduced their first rapid 50kW charging point for electric taxi usage at Lances Hill Car Park, in Bitterne Village. This charging station has the capacity to fully charge an Electric Vehicle in 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the Electric Vehicle’s capacity. This gives the council capacity for electric taxis to be able to charge their vehicle quickly in between journeys; making an incredibly efficient, low-carbon service for taxi and private hire vehicles. Increasing the availability of rapid charging stations around the city will incentivise an increase in the number of electric taxis within Southampton.

Why Rapid Charging?

Following a large roll-out by Southampton City Council of fast EV charging infrastructure throughout public car parks in the city, the council decided to initiate its rapid charging network for electric taxi and private hire use. By improving the accessibility of fast and rapid chargers around the city, the council hope to incentivise more taxis to make the switch to electric vehicles and contribute to the clean air strategy within the city. The initial motivation for Southampton City Council to install their first rapid charger was to incentivise the use of electric taxi and private hire vehicles within the city. Rob Gloyns, Air Quality Project Officer at Southampton City council says “through our Local NO2 Plan and Clean Air Strategy, we have put measures in place to upgrade taxis to cleaner vehicles over the next few years. The key issue we faced was that there was nowhere for the drivers to quickly charge their vehicle during their hours of operation. However, by providing the taxi trade with the infrastructure they need, we hope to see a large increase in the amount of electric taxis within Southampton”.

Southampton City Council are currently offering trials of electric taxis for local drivers, and hope this experience will provide extra information to employees within the taxi service in order to make the switch easier. The council are also offering monetary incentives to make the switch from older, more polluting taxis to low emission alternatives.

Installing rapid chargers

The key challenge with installing rapid chargers relates to the installation itself.  Because the units a very high-powererd, a new connection needed to be put in place, which the local network operator installed prior to Joju arriving on site.  The ABB rapid charger units are very large, weighing more than 250kg, and need to be craned into position.  Once in place, all that was needed was to wire the unit in; itself a major challenge due to the physical size of the wiring required.

Using Rapid Chargers

One of the smaller issues has been allocating the charge point to electric taxis only. To incentivise the trade to increase the amount of electric vehicles in operation in Southampton the charge point will be completely free for the taxis to use for an introductory period. Limiting the use to taxis as opposed to public use means that taxis won’t have to worry about the charging station not being available.

The council have also installed a 22kW fast charging dual socketed unit in the same car park which will enable two public vehicles to charge at the same time. This therefore enables the public to be able to use this car park as a charging point when in and around the city.

Conclusion

This is part of a city-wide programme to increase the availability fast and rapid charging stations. In the coming months Southampton City Council plan a more centrally based rapid charge to be installed. Outside of rapid charging, Southampton are looking at further fast chargers located around the city car parks. They will also be reviewing usage of the rapid chargers and hope to expand more in the future. With plans to trial electric vehicles for the taxi trade and the range of other supporting incentives the council fully expect the number of electric vehicles used in the service to increase over the next few years.

Find out more …

Rotherham, Metropolitan, Borough, Council, Wellgate, car park, solar PV

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council’s Full Set

Whilst we have seen residential customers installing the complete set of solar PV, battery storage, and electric vehicle chargepoints, it’s something of a rarity at a larger scale.  Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, however, have just completed a £600k scheme installing electric vehicle charge points across the borough, combining this with solar PV and battery storage at some of the sites.  Steve Brown, Transportation Officer, explains: “We’ve been very interested in the potential to replace our diesel/petrol fleet with electric vehicles to reduce carbon emissions and address air quality in the borough.  But we were very aware that doing so would increase our electricity consumption, and nationally there’d be a problem generating the electricity.  So we have looked to manage these knock-on effects ourselves by installing an equivalent amount of solar PV at the same time to offset this.”  And it’s not just the amount of new electricity that was a concern: “We wanted to use batteries to store this sustainable energy for us to use when we needed it, rather than when it was available

Developing the Scheme

The flagship site in the programme is the Wellgate multi-storey car park, which features 5 dual Alfen Eve charge points, 87kW of solar PV and 3 Tesla Powerwall’s for storage.  The solar PV was hosted in a unique way, on the top deck of the multi-storey.  “It’s an odd feature of almost every multi-storey car park in the country that no-one parks on the top-deck”, says Steve.  “They’re massively underutilised assets, so we took the decision to close the top deck and use this space for generating solar electricity.

An additional five sites incorporated both solar PV and electric vehicle charge points.  Hellaby Depot, Rawmarsh Library, Riverside House, Rother Valley Country Park, and Thrybergh Country Park host 17 dual charge points and 141 kW of solar PV.

Aston Health Centre, Drummond Street car park, Walker Street car park and Wath Library are also home to dual chargepoints, increasing the coverage of the public EV charging network in the Rotherham Metropolitan area.

If we build it, they will come

The main difficulty we had was whether the scheme would work at all”, said Steve.  “There’s a certain amount of ‘If we build it, they will come’ when developing a chargepoint scheme.  But Rotherham does not have the same level of per capita income as parts of southeastern England, and we didn’t know how quickly the community here will take up EVs, as they are still more expensive than petrol or diesel vehicles.

Funding from the Government’s Clean Air Fund early measures programme provided the initiative to get the scheme off the ground, and Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council instructed Joju Solar to install the project, following a mini-tender through the ESPO Framework.  Joju Solar are uniquely well placed to deliver schemes like this as we are one of the largest installers of Public Sector EV charge point programmes, as well as having decades of experience installing solar PV and battery storage.

Our fears have been unfounded – the chargepoints are being widely used, and people are prepared to use charge points at outlying council offices and country parks.  From our point of view, it’s worked extremely well”.  The Council are seeing the solar PV generation being used on their own sites, reducing bills, and the battery storage is covering lighting requirements overnight.

A Holistic Public Sector Approach to EV Charge Points

Rotherham’s approach appears to be paying dividends, and there’s an appetite for more.  “The whole system has been really well thought out – there’s chargers in the basement for staff and outside for public use.  We’d like to do more of the same – perhaps in innovative locations like schools and colleges as well”.

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council’s pioneering scheme is a strong example to other councils, particularly in the way that they have looked at the larger energy picture.   Electrifying transport will inherently increase demand for electricity, and it shows a truly holistic approach to sustainability to consider how this will be provided as part of one installation programme.

Find Out More

  • We’ve developed the Joju Charging Portal – an information hub for public sector bodies looking to install electric vehicle charge point programmes
  • The Rotherham Metropolitan Council scheme was procured through the ESPO framework
  • See how the complete set of solar PV, battery storage and electric car charge points can help in the home
fleet, Hampshire Scientific Services, EV, New Motion

Fleet Charging for Hampshire County Council

Hampshire County Council have recently completed the installation of 37 charge points for their electric vehicle fleet, which can charge a total of 54 electric vehicles. The aim is to switch their diesel fleet to electric vehicles in order to reduce their carbon emissions that is a part of their Energy and Carbon Management Programme. Since 2010 the council have accomplished their targets and successfully reduced their carbon emissions throughout the first phase of the Programme. By switching diesel cars to electric vehicles (EVs), this will contribute to reducing their carbon emissions and can help inspire other employees to consider changing to an EV too.

Charge Points for Council Vehicles

Charge points for the council’s electric vehicle fleet have been installed in two phases. During phase one, 17 NewMotion charge points were installed across 8 locations in Hampshire in July 2018. The NewMotion charge point can charge at an optimal power of up to 22 kW. During phase two, 20 Alfen Eve charge points were installed across 10 locations in Hampshire in May 2019, which can charge 37 electric vehicles as the Alfen Eve charge points have 2 sockets per charge point. Alfen Eve charge points are vandalism proof due to the glass fibre enforced casing. The charge points were installed in car parks and employee’s private properties during phase one and two.

Challenges of Fleet Charge Point Installation

Project management over such a large-scale project for one council have been challenging as cooperation with many various stakeholders and council departments have been necessary to arrange for site surveys, specify charge point locations and moreover.  Joju’s Operations Director, Joe Gabriel explains: “With so many sites wrapped up in one scheme, smooth coordination of the works is critical to delivering the scheme.  Good communication, and flexibility in the delivery programme is essential to coordinating the installation works.  That’s why each project has its own dedicated programme manager, and why we use our own in-house electrical teams“.

Replicating Hampshire’s Approach

Hampshire County Council have already planned more instalments of electric vehicle charging points for their evolving fleet and they are currently increasing their public charge points. As pioneers in this space, Hampshire developed their own procurement framework (Central Southern Regional Framework) for the works, which is now being offered across the south of the UK.  This will allow other councls and public bodies to benefit from Hampshire County Council’s experience, and be able to replicate this kind of scheme in their own area.  The intention is to grow this to become a uniform public charging network across the entire region.

Find Out More

Electric police car, charging, chargepoint, New Motion, Central Southern REgional Framework

The Thin Blue Line Goes Green

The trouble is that the bad guys don’t have environmental targets”, declared Dennis Ord,
Head of Transport for Surrey & Sussex Police.  “That means our priority is a vehicle that can deliver the performance we need, but also at low environmental impact”.

Electric Police Cars

With this in mind Surrey and Sussex Police purchased 60 BMW i3 full electric cars.   The vehicles will be used by officers to carry out day-to-day policing activities such as visiting victims or witnesses to take statements, or as part of door-to-door inquiries.   Environmental targets were not the only benefit here – the much lower running costs of electric vehicles compared to diesel or petrol, means that each force is expected to save £120,000 over the next five years.  That’s valuable funds that can be used elsewhere in the police budget.

Procuring electric car chargepoints

Of course, the 60 new electric vehicles needed their own dedicated chargepoints, and with the vehicles on order, installed at short notice.  Surrey and Sussex Police decided to procure through the Central Southern Regional Framework, run by Hampshire County Council, which offers a streamlined procurement process, whilst simultaneously ensuring high quality products and service.  The Central Southern Regional Framework is available to all councils and public bodies (health service, police, fire etc) within the south of England.

Smooth Project Management

30 fast chargers were installed for Surrey Police for across 8 sites in November 2018, followed by a further 40 chargepoints for Sussex Police in December 2018.  “Our main challenges were the rapid turnaround times required – if the vehicles arrived and they couldn’t charge, it would have been a disaster”, said Joju’s Operations Director Joe Gabriel.  “These were also live police sites, requiring careful project management to ensure disruption to police activities was minimised.

Police Leading the way

The Police are modernising their policing with the procurement of a fleet of electric vehicles and associated infrastructure – benefitting the environment and their balance sheet at the same time. As such it is a perfect example of both the benefits of institutions switching to electric fleets and of how public institutions can procure the necessary infrastructure.

The bad guys don’t stand a chance!

Further reading

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.”