Fimer teams up with Custom Solar UK to install UK’s largest commercial rooftop solar array

The UK’s largest commercial rooftop solar system was unveiled yesterday (November 11th) at the Port of Hull, one of 21 Ports owned and operated by Associated British Ports (ABP).
Fimer teams up with Custom Solar UK to install UK’s largest commercial rooftop solar array
Port of Hull solar array. Courtesy of Curtis Creative.

The array of 21,000 solar panels covers the port’s warehouse roofs and spans 34,980 square meters, making it the largest rooftop project ever installed in the UK, producing 6.5MW of energy and more than doubling ABP Humber Ports’ renewable energy generation. The £6.8 million investment will save ABP 2,600 tonnes of CO2 per annum, which equates to the energy needs of 1,450 average UK homes. The iconic project involved two years of planning prior to construction, starting in October 2019 through to completion in August 2020, and marks Fimer’s first major rooftop solar development in the UK.

The company teamed up with the UK’s largest solar developer, Custom Solar to install 49 PVS-100-TL 100 kW inverters and 3 PVS-50-TL 50 kW inverters to power the rooftop facility. The solution is ideal for this type of large-scale industrial application where demand for energy fluctuates, and the high power-rating of each inverter means that fewer units are required. It reduces CAPEX, due to its high-power density and cuts OPEX as it is quick to install, easy to configure and maintain.

“Fimer is delighted to be supporting this new era for solar energy in the UK” said Fimer chairman Filippo Carzaniga. “This was a ground-breaking project, which is our largest installation of its kind in the country. It demonstrates how powerful solar power can be and, we are proud to have worked closely with Custom Solar and ABP to make this vision a reality.”

Matt Brailsford, Managing Director at Custom Solar, added that the project was in planning for nearly two years before beginning construction, due to the sheer complexity of the system and that with carbon reduction, CSR and keen financial savings on the agenda of all large corporations during such a challenging time, Custom Solar sees solar as the perfect fit.

To ensure that the rooftop solar plant delivered the maximum possible energy, a smart energy management approach was essential for this project and Fimer’s built-in Export limitation delivered the right results.

The Export limitation solution was a key deciding factor in Custom Solar selecting Fimer as its preferred supplier. The most innovative form of energy management in the market allows solar plant owners, like ABP, to maximize self-consumption. The inverter’s integrated distributive control algorithm enables operators to be compliant with the export limit set by grid operators and utilities, without the need for additional controllers or devices.

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