Microgrid Solutions for District Councils

District Council Microgrid Project

District Council Microgrid Project

EV fast charging, solar carports, and a BESS, all optimised using Podium EMS

The powerful partnership between councils, a developer of state-of-the-art solar panels, and Wattstor delivers big on green initiatives for two leisure centres…

About Babergh District and Mid Suffolk District Councils

Babergh District and Mid Suffolk District Councils are key members of the Suffolk Climate Change Partnership (SCCP). Both local authorities are committed to supporting Suffolk’s communities, businesses and residents. They all want to reduce carbon emissions, save money by reducing energy consumption and adapt to climate change.

The councils were looking to use two new-build carports on leisure centre car parks as an opportunity to maximise green energy generation and consumption. This was driven by the Councils’ Climate Emergency declaration and Carbon Reduction Management Plan to support sustainable energy generation.

About Polysolar

Polysolar is a developer, designer and installer of architectural solar solutions with a broad range of installations carried out over the last 10 years. Polysolar developed and commercialised a range of transparent photovoltaic glazing materials for integration into an extending variety of integration solutions. These include canopies, carports, facades and other bespoke applications.

District Council Microgrid Project

District Council Microgrid Project

The goal of the council was to deliver a localised energy microgeneration project, taking the form of two highly optimised, new-build multifunction solar carports. They were also looking to maximise consumption from the existing rooftop solar PV at both leisure centre sites, integrate battery storage systems, and wanted to ensure scope to add EVSE in the future.

Wattstor’s modular battery design allowed the Council to install a best fit battery on both sites that was sized according to the site load and solar generation to enable the Council to maximise their usage of on-site renewable generation and minimize import from the grid. Wattstor worked closely with Polysolar to design a bespoke containerised solution for the battery storage units on site.

Sudbury – Kingfisher Leisure Centre Carpark

District Council Microgrid Project

Stowmarket – Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre

District Council Microgrid Project

The set up

The Councils own these localised energy microgeneration assets as a long-term investment. BDC & MSDC own the property and solar PV assets (carports), serving as the energy generator and business landlord. The leisure centre operators, which are the rental tenants, are the energy off-takers through a private wire PPA.

The results

Improved consumption of solar. This means cheaper, greener energy on site for the local people. They can now charge their cars from energy produced locally on site.

Cllr Jessica Fleming, Mid Suffolk District Council’s cabinet member for environment (via New Anglia):

“This is a great step forward in reducing the carbon footprint at our leisure centres – one of our highest emitters – and takes us closer to meeting our ambition of becoming carbon neutral. It’s also an exciting opportunity to set an example for others to follow, by using our own assets to generate electricity by making best use of available space.

“Encouraging sustainable travel and improving air quality in the district, while making sure our towns are places people want to visit, is fundamental in supporting a greener future and vision for our key towns.”


District Council Microgrid Project


parking bays

in total were covered by the Polysolar solar PV carports across two sites

10x EV chargers


These were installed cross both sites, equating to 8 x 7kW fast chargers and 2 x 22kW rapid chargers


Total BESS

installed across both sites: 150kW/324kWh BESS at Sudbury and 200kW/432kWh BESS at Stowmarket

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