Victoria Gate Shopping Centre
The Victoria Gate shopping centre delivers one of the most vibrant new shopping scenes and go to destinations in Leeds city centre. In collaboration with centres owners, Hammerson, EvoEnergy delivered an ambitious solar panel scheme to reduce the carbon emissions of the shopping centre by 20%, helping Hammerson reach its 2020 goal.
In October 2016, Hammerson opened the landmark shopping centre. The retro fit solar PV system works were awarded to EvoEnergy earlier this year following competitive tender via the Syzygy framework. EvoEnergy’s bespoke design was required to meet needs of the stringent aesthetic parameters while maintaining the same number of car park spaces and existing sight lines from various key vantage points. Resulting in a scheme comprising of a 50 kWp flat roof system on the main shopping centre and a 90 kWp solar carport system on top of the shopping centre and carpark.
In the autumn of 2018, EvoEnergy completed the installation on both sites, which are now generating clean energy and helped the project to achieve the BREEAM excellent standard.
BREEAM is the world’s leading certification for the sustainability of construction projects. Less than 10% of non-domestic buildings in the UK achieve the ‘excellent’ rating as these projects need to demonstrate industry best practice. The solar panel installation at Victoria Gate was a significant factor in the site’s attainment of an ‘excellent’ award in the environmental category.
EvoEnergy’s engineers delivered a solution to tie into the existing car park steel structure and an east/west canopy to cover both the car parking spaces and roadway at roof level. In addition to these complex structural considerations, the installation’s visual impact was also important. EvoEnergy worked closely with ACME Architects to ensure the carport’s detailing matched the centre. Attention to aesthetic detail was key in ensuring that the colour scheme of this project matched the centre’s iconic regency gold.
EvoEnergy designed, supplied and safely installed a steel canopy structure on top of the carpark. To improve the driver experience, no pillars were located in front of any car parking spaces making it easier for customers to get in and out of their cars. Transporting steel through the carpark was a challenge as all deliveries needed to be made during out of hours and quieter periods to limit the impact on the centre and its customers. The structure was erected by a lightweight spider crane, a cost effective alternative to other, bulkier cranes.
The system is located on top of the shopping centre. Electrical connections and inverters were located in the rooftop plant room, ensuring ease of long term operations and maintenance. High efficiency Sunpower panels combined with SolarEdge power optimisers were utilised to maximise the generation from the available roof space. In spite of the complexity of this project EvoEnergy took only 12 weeks during the summer to install 276 Sunpower 327 Wp solar panels.
Michael Salisbury, Director at EvoEnergy commented:
“We are proud to have taken our expertise in delivering carport solutions to this project. The team have worked hard to ensure every detail is captured to meet the requirements of a high quality bespoke design. It’s a pleasure to work with Syzygy and Hammerson to bring this project to fruition.”
With both systems now fully operational, the shopping centre is able to generate over 105 MWh a year of electricity, estimated to be around 60% of the mall’s annual electricity demand.