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Solar power and EV charging Sarah Juggins reports on RenEnergys project with Aviva to create a truly green car park All aboard the solarcoaster hen you think of Aviva, you probably think of insurance, investments and pensions but there is far more to the financial services provider than meets the eye. Aviva reached zero carbon emission status in 2006. Since then, it has been tackling its carbon footprint, reducing its environmental impact and increasing its sustainability at Aviva centres across the UK and beyond. The latest technology to be employed in the companys drive for a greener future is parking-related. We are changing the way that people think about parking at work, says Lee Preston, Avivas group carbon and utilities manager. One of our aims is to create onsite renewables, and produce more than we need, through our car parks. Creating solar energy is not new territory for Aviva; panels on the roof of its Horizon call centre have been producing power for a number of years now. What is new, however, is the transformation of an area of open-air car parking at Broadland Business Park, Norwich, into a series of carports, housing up to 250 cars and offering electric vehicle (EV) charging points. A system of photovoltaic panels has been built onto the roof of the carports. The energy produced by these is carried to the main building, where it provides power for the day-to-day running of the site. In May, 63 per cent of the energy requirements of the building were met by the carports, rising to 89 per cent during daylight hours. W the growing need for EV charge points and is aesthetically pleasing. Work was carried out at night and at weekends to minimise disruption to Aviva. RenEnergy built one carport bay at a time so the fewest number of spaces were out of use at any one time, explains project manager Melanie Smith. The dilemma for parking managers across the country which RenEnergy director Damian Baker recognises is how to justify investing in technology that has not fully taken off yet. In Norway, 29 per cent of the population drives EVs, Baker says. In the UK, that figure is one per cent but the culture is changing rapidly. One of our aims is to create onsite renewables, and produce more than we need, through our car parks The solar carports at Avivas Norwich car park The future is EV Norwich-based RenEnergy carried out the technical aspects and build of the project. Tom Lloyd, director of sales and marketing, says the main aim aside from decarbonising energy was to maintain the same number of parking spaces while creating an infrastructure that supports 20 britishparking.co.uk PN Sep19 pp20-21 Solar car park.indd 20 22/08/2019 11:49