Work begins on Utilita Bowl’s solar installation

Featured image credit: Utilita Bowl

Work has commenced on the installation of more than 1,000 solar panels at Utilita Bowl, the home stadium of Hampshire County Cricket Club.

The installation marks the first major step of the venue’s plans to become the world’s greenest cricket ground as part of its wide-ranging partnership with Utilita Energy.

In January, electricity and gas supplier Utilita Energy agreed a multi-year deal to acquire naming rights to the stadium, which had been known as Ageas Bowl since 2012.

The solar panels will be capable of generating around 25% of the electricity used in the stadium each year, and more than enough to cover the electricity consumed during match days.

The solar array at Utilita Bowl will generate 381,829kwh per year and save the venue a six-figure sum each year in electricity costs, as well as 80 tonnes of carbon per year.

The installation project commenced on Monday following planning approval from Eastleigh Borough Council. A total of 1,044 solar panels will be fitted across five buildings at Utilita Bowl over the coming weeks.

The work will start on the Colin Ingleby-Mackenzie Stand, before moving around to the Shane Warne Stand, Arthur Holt Pavilion and Hampshire Wellbeing Centre, and the Hilton Southampton on-site hotel.

Electric vehicle charging points at the hotel will also be fitted, with this project expected to be completed in July.

Utilita Bowl chief executive David Mann said: “To be at this stage now is such an exciting part of this partnership with Utilita, where we have set out a bold vision to create the greenest international cricket venue in the world. Utilita Bowl is on track to do that, with this first key step being the installation of over 1,000 solar panels.

“Destinations like Utilita Bowl have a powerful responsibility to the future of our community, and we are thoroughly committed to owning our role and playing our part through this project, and many more initiatives to come.”

Bill Bullen, Utilita chief executive, added: “When announcing our partnership with Utilita Bowl earlier this year, we did not hold back on sharing our ambitions and outlining our plans. That’s because we meant every word and I’m delighted we have now physically started our joint venture to transform this magnificent venue into the world’s greenest cricket ground. From the moment that first solar panel was installed, we began making history.”