The Wave powers ahead with its carbon neutral pledge by generating its own renewable energy

July 17, 2023

Bristol’s innovative inland surfing lake The Wave is about to achieve one of its founding principles – to be powered by 100% renewable energy generated on site, making it carbon neutral.

A £3.2m solar project at the attraction, which is close to Cribbs Causeway regional shopping centre, is forecast to generate 3m kilowatt hours a year – more than enough to power the site.

As a result, the solar and energy storage array will not only power the rolling waves on the 180m-long surfing lake, powered by innovative Wavegarden Cove technology and used by beginners to professional surfers training for the Olympics, but will also earn money for The Wave by exporting the excess electricity generated to the National Grid.

This makes good a promise by The Wave’s founder Nick Hounsfield, who now holds the post of CVO – Chief Visionary Officer – who pledged the project would use renewable energy when it opened in November 2019.

It also coincides with the arrival of Hazel Geary, pictured, as its new CEO. She joined the team last month, bringing international experience in the leisure, retail and hospitality industries.

Her previous roles include a three-year stint in India as managing director of a joint venture between David Lloyd Leisure and Talwalkars, the country’s largest chain of health clubs, when she was responsible for all company operations, including the construction of a health and leisure club.

After returning from India, she has spent the past few years as a freelancer, working with teams across the fitness, beauty and wellbeing industries.

Hazel said: “I’m so grateful for the opportunity to join the team at The Wave as we encourage more people to experience the power of water, and deliver health, hope and happiness with every wave.”

She said her passion for sustainability and commitment to protecting the planet align perfectly with the values of The Wave.

Its solar project was made possible due to a £1.45m European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Growth Programme, plus match funding from South Gloucestershire Council in the form of a commercial loan.

The money has been used to install a range of solar PV modules across the site, plus a flow machine battery, which helps increase onsite usage generated by the panels.

There is also a solar ‘Smartflower’, which tracks the sun and acts as an engaging renewable energy educational tool for visitors.

The Wave was also visited by the nationwide Running Out Of Time Tour from Ben Nevis to Big Ben, via Bristol. The 1,800km, nine-day relay highlighted the issues around climate change and the need to reduce carbon emissions.

Nick Hounsfield, who carried the relay baton into The Wave, pictured, said: “Being selected as a venue for relay was an honour, particularly as it coincided with the completion of our solar and battery array.

“From the get-go we said we would always use 100% renewable energy – that was our red-line.”


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