Cambridgeshire County Council is starting construction on the first phase of an innovative micro-grid project at the Babraham Road Park and Ride site in Cambridge.

The project comprises solar panels generating local energy supplies for EV charging for cars, buses, and taxis.

Working in partnership with Bouygues E&S Solutions Limited installation of approximately 4,500 solar panels will start in mid-August.

Planning permission for the project was granted in late 2020 and is a similar scheme to the St Ives Park and Ride site; the projects form part of a larger vision of smart energy grids around Cambridge’s transport network.

Investment in projects to generate local energy is a key action in the Council’s Climate Change and Environment Strategy approved in February 2022.

The project is expected to be complete in Autumn 2023, transforming the site into a renewable energy generator and providing green electricity directly for vehicles, with surplus being provided to Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

The panels will generate up to 2.5MW of electricity and are expected to save more than 6,600 tonnes in carbon emissions over the next 30 years.

Councillor Lorna Dupre, chair of the county council’s environment and green investment committee, said: “We are fully committed to tackling the climate emergency and this innovative project is another example of our ongoing key work. I am delighted that the scheme has taken another important step forward and I’m excited to see it take shape.

“The project will offer many benefits for years to come. Overall, it reduces the site’s carbon footprint generating local energy for electric vehicle chargers, also helping to improve local air quality and supporting national goals of electrifying transport.”

Richard Hales, energy and sustainability manager at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH), said: “We are delighted to be working with Cambridgeshire County Council on this exciting project which will directly supply green energy to our hospitals. Developing innovative partnerships like this are integral to our approach to addressing the climate emergency and continuing our trajectory to becoming a net-zero organisation by 2045.”

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