Associated British Ports – Goole

Associated British Ports – ABP is the UK’s leading port operator, with a unique network of 21 ports across England, Scotland and Wales. Their ports include Immingham, the UKs busiest port, and Southampton, the nation’s second largest and most efficient container port, as well as the UK’s number one for cars and cruise. In 2016 ABP and its customers handled 89 million tonnes of cargo. They support 119,000 jobs and contribute £7.5 billion to the UK economy every year.

Drivers for the project

ABP have a company wide policy to deliver renewable technology across all operational ports in order reduce CO2 emissions and energy consumption.


Custom solar secured a framework partnership with ABP via an OJEU competitive tendering process across the whole of the industry which scored the bidders on several factors including; Health & Safety, design & engineering capability, delivery capability and experience in the design and installation of large-scale solar projects.


This major 14-week project saw the installation of a 1.1MWp solar system, utilising 4,196 solar modules across the rooftops of major terminal buildings at the Port of Goole including the Boothferry terminal which is occupied by RMS Group and handles large volumes of cargo including steel, aluminium, timber and paper. The system will generate enough electricity during peak generation periods to run the Port of Goole solely from clean energy.

It will produce enough electricity (879,449 kWh per annum) to power around 237 residential homes per year or power 400 electric cars, a carbon reduction of 244 tonnes of CO2 which is the equivalent to the tailpipe emissions of 122 fossil fuel cars.


With this being a major steel cargo terminal safety was a key consideration. To progress the installation safely we had to build scheduling flexibility into our programme of works to allow us to work in different active constructions areas at varying times of the day.

The Port of Goole has two High Voltage connection points serving different areas of the port and so as part of our initial design we had to analyse consumption profiles for each connection. This allowed us to suitably size the Solar PV systems to each connection to ensure we maximised the usage of power generation on site.

For the installation we connected to two separate existing sub stations on site. AC cable lengths were minimised by positioning the inverters close to the sub-station in order to maximise system efficiency and the selected sub-stations for connection had the largest consumption profiles, to minimise distribution loses across the site.

Part of the system was installed on incredibly complex buildings containing inbuilt cranes in addition to rooftop canopy areas situated over open water. Theses areas required specific methods of work to be implemented in order to work safely and to allow progress efficiently whilst working around the client’s operational needs in a safe manner.


Custom Solar operate and maintain all of the systems across the port providing live monitoring via our bespoke monitoring solution, full reactive maintenance and annual scheduled service visits. To date the system has overperformed by 8% against predicted yields.

Associated British Ports – Goole website

Project details

Port of Goole
System size
1.175 MWP
Panel Type
280W Poly
Number of panels
Inverter Manufacturer
Annual system generation
879,449 KWH
CO2 Savings per annum
243,871 KG
Completion date
Feb 2020

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