Four hundred athletes from 13 countries are competing in sports including table cricket, bowls and football in the World Cerebral Palsy Games hosted by Nottingham City Council in a newly opened £16m redeveloped sports centre from 9th-16th August. Cerebral Palsy Sport is the country’s leading national disability sports organisation supporting people with cerebral palsy to reach their sporting potential. Their vision is that everyone with physical disabilities is able to access a sport of their choice.  Japanese footballer Tomoya Fukushima, 16, “said the games were a chance to compete against the best players in the world”

Solar carports are the next hot topic in the solar industry, set to transform grey windy carparks into “energy hubs” generating cheap, green electricity for buildings and electric vehicles. The concept is well established in the US and EU countries, but carpark owners in the UK have remained cautious up until now – with Nottingham City Council taking lead.

Nottingham City Council saw this as the ideal opportunity to pilot a large scale solar carport at Harvey Hadden Leisure Centre hosting the Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association (CPISRA) 2015 World Games.

Canopies over 40 car parking spaces support and array of 448 solar panels delivering 55.7MWhrs (Megawatt-hours) of electricity per year – enough to power 20 homes. Combining feed-in tariffs and reduced costs of purchasing energy, Nottingham City Council are hoping to generate over £10,000 revenue per year from the project.

Award winning solar and architectural structures specialists Flexisolar Ltd worked with Sitec Infrastructure Services, EPC EvoEnergy and project managers TSCC to deliver the UK’s largest and most ambitious solar carpark to date.

Managing Director Robert Carpenter of Flexisolar Ltd said “I am very hopeful that the solar industry and carpark owners will take note of this landmark structure. We need to demonstrate capability and drive costs down. And our next solar carport installation is set to achieve cost parity with solar rooftop installations – an important milestone for this maturing technology.”

Carport designer Christopher Jackson said “Using the space above an electric vehicle to charge its batteries is a no-brainer.  Christopher continued “I had the pleasure of meeting the athletes and attending the opening event, we were really feeling the pressure in the build-up to the games as everyone pulled together to meet the deadline. The games are a massive motivating factor and a big hit in Nottingham!”