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Unveiling our new solar carport – saving 65 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year!

7 November 2023

Plymouth Marine Laboratory is delighted to announce that the official opening of a brand new solar photovoltaic carport is being held today, with the solar panels now up-and-running, generating electricity that will support its vital work at the laboratory.
PML new solar carport

Watch the installation

Our Director of Operations, Beverly Tremain, said:  

“As an environmental organisation, we are committed to reducing our carbon emissions, and supporting the aims of Plymouth City Council’s Declaration on Climate Emergency. PML has already invested significantly in renewable energy, including solar photovoltaic arrays on our main roof and lecture theatre - which has saved over 14 tonnes of carbon dioxide since installation in May 2021."

“The addition of the new solar carport will elevate this to new heights, saving 65 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year - this is a huge step towards our Net Zero ambitions. We would like to thank the Natural Environment Research Council who made this possible, funding the installation of the solar carport as part of their greening initiatives.  Our thanks also go to SunGift Solar, the lead contractor, who made our plans a reality and who worked incredibly flexibly with us to accommodate our requirements".

She added, “Not only will our new solar carport support our efforts in reaching Net Zero, it will also benefit our charity in the long-term. The rise in energy costs has affected everyone and, whilst we have reduced our energy consumption year on year, the costs have increased significantly. Our solar carport will provide some reduction in these costs, enabling our vital work to continue, including understanding the effects of climate change on our Ocean and ensuring its sustainability for the future”.

Check out PML's solar energy production here > >

Our Buildings and Facilities Manager, Lee Merchant, describes some of the logistics behind such a large-scale project: 

“The installation of the carport took eight weeks to complete in total, and we planned works to coincide with the summer holidays - when many colleagues are away on annual leave - to minimise disruption. We also had a planned halt to the works to accommodate a major scientific symposium and a separate science meeting during the period! We organised the installation into two phases: installing one half of the carpark at a time, whilst leaving the other half open - so that there was always space for colleagues to get into the office should they need it." 

“If you are wondering why we are installing the solar panels over the car park, it is because we are protecting our green spaces. There will be no removal of trees or planting on our estate, with the solar carport being installed over the actual car park itself, rather than in the planted grounds”.

The solar carport has been funded with thanks to the Natural Environment Research Council, as part of their greening initiatives. 

Find out more about our Environmental Policy and Sustainability Strategy >> 



Related information

Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) has a strong commitment to reduce its own environmental impact. Environmental responsibility is one of the four pillars of our 2020 – 2025 strategy, with the goal to achieve Net Zero carbon for PML activities by 2040 – 10 years earlier than the national target of 2050 – in line with the UKRI environmental sustainability strategy. 
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