Ashton Gate stadium joins Bristol’s solar revolution

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Bristol City V Gloucester City by Libby via Flickr

Solar PV panels designed to reduce the stadium’s carbon emissions by 20% have been installed to Ashton Gate Stadium,

The stadium is home to Bristol City FC and Bristol Rugby Club, and has made a promise to deliver a modern, multi-use stadium to make Bristol proud. The solar PV partnership with the council is predicted to save the stadium £150,000 over 20 years on its energy bill, while allowing the council to recuperate the costs of the system and make a small surplus. This is a new model for mutually beneficial renewable energy projects and businesses with large roof spaces or land have the opportunity to benefit.

How does this work?

• Bristol City Council helps determine whether your business has a suitable roof for solar and assesses the electricity use profile.
• The council pays for and project manages the PV installation on your behalf.
• A feed-in tariff is paid to the council for the electricity generated by the system, also receiving payment for any electricity fed back into the grid.
• Your business pays a reduced rate to the council for the electricity used on site from the system.
• Congratulations! Your business saves money on its energy bills, reduces its carbon emissions and increases its green credentials.
• After 20 years, ownership of the solar PV is handed over to you.

Helen Holland, Cabinet Member for Place with responsibility for Energy, said: “One of the Mayor’s campaign promises was to put Bristol on course to run entirely on clean energy by 2050. The City Council can’t achieve this by ourselves, so working with partners like Bristol Sport is going to be essential if we’re going to hit our goal.

“Ashton Gate is such an important venue for football and rugby fans in Bristol. Working with Bristol Sport during their amazing transformation of the stadium sends a really strong message that it makes commercial sense for high energy consuming businesses to install renewables onsite, and Bristol City Council can help with that.”

The 117 kW solar PV system consisting of 460 solar panels was supplied and installed on the West Stand of the stadium by Nottinghamshire-based EvoEnergy and is expected to generate 95,090 kWh per year. That is equivalent to powering 23 average energy-use homes for a whole year. Due to the stadium’s size and activities, all of the electricity generated from the rooftop system is expected to be used on site.

James Sutton, Commercial Project Manager at EvoEnergy, commented: “We’re pleased to be supporting Bristol City Council’s campaign to encourage more businesses to choose solar, with the installation of a 460-panel system at Ashton Gate. It’s a great example of how partnerships can work, and complements the other energy efficient measures the stadium has implemented in order to reduce its carbon footprint.”

It’s a great example of how partnerships can work, and complements the other energy efficient measures the stadium has implemented in order to reduce its carbon footprint

The new development also boasts air to air heat recovery, low energy lighting, automatic controls, low water consumption taps and toilets, heat-pumps and a Building Management System all designed to reduce the stadium’s energy usage. Bristol Sport has also developed a full travel plan which includes new bus services and a three-fold provision of bike racks.

Martin Griffiths, chairman of, Bristol Sport, added: “We’ve worked hard to design, build and operate a socially responsible venue for the city. As well as being home to the two largest sports teams in the area, we also host numerous conferences and events every day. The installation of Solar PV helps ensure we’re being environmentally friendly while also cutting down on operating costs.”

Solar panels are also planned for another key venue for the city, the Bristol Arena. The panels will be complimented by connection to Bristol’s new heat network infrastructure, which is creating a more efficient heat supply to central Bristol, further helping to create a low carbon and sustainable venue in line with the city’s ambitious climate and energy targets.

Aerial footage of the solar installation at Ashton Gate Stadium can be seen at https://youtu.be/hPJ24RuT1pY