Solar project fuels mayor’s ambition to make Bristol ‘laboratory for change’

October 11, 2013

Mayor of Bristol George Ferguson has hailed a pioneering green energy scheme as an example of how the city will be a “laboratory for change” when it becomes European Green Capital in 2015.

The £2.8m SoLa Bristol project went live in Knowle West this week with homes, schools and offices to receiving cheap, clean solar energy.

Mr Ferguson said: “As we gear up for Bristol’s year as European Green Capital I’ve said that the city should be acting as a laboratory for change, becoming a test bed for innovative projects. Here we have a perfect example of the living lab, with Knowle West trying out a new and different approach to solar energy.

“We need to lower our carbon output, encourage cleaner energy use and tackle the social and economic inequalities between different parts of Bristol. SoLa Bristol contributes to all three of these important aims and I’m absolutely delighted to see it up and running.”

Under the scheme, solar photovoltaic panels previously installed as part of the SMART City Programme in Knowle West have been linked to batteries, which will provide the solar generated energy at times when the sun does not shine.

Meanwhile, the homes will be fitted with direct current (DC) lighting systems that will be powered directly from the batteries, while Western Power Distribution – one of the lead partners in the SoLa Bristol partnership – can add the stored energy in periods of high demand to the main grid.

The scheme has been running in two test homes in Knowle West for over a month and is being rolled out to the rest of the properties. It will run for three years and is expected to reduce carbon emissions and the energy bills of the people taking part. Researchers at the University of Bath will analyse and report on the project findings in 2015.

Pictured below: Mayor George Ferguson with Lee Moore, tenant and participant in the SoLa Bristol scheme, and Mark Dale of Western Power Distribution

Comments are closed.


Reach tens of thousands of senior business people across Bristol for just £120 a month. Email for more information.