Bristol’s unique inland surfing destination, The Wave, is introducing what it calls 'sunshine powered surfing', with work set to start on an innovative new solar and battery array by June 2023.
Launched back in 2019, The Wave made a commitment to use only renewable energy to power its inland wave pool, which it currently sources from the grid via Good Energy.
Its long-term vision has always been to incorporate its own renewable energy generation on-site — and thanks to just over £1.45 million of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Growth Programme funding, alongside match funding from South Gloucestershire Council in the form of a commercial loan, the exciting development is now possible.
As part of the project, a range of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules are being installed across the site, as well as a solar canopy over part of the car park and a solar ‘Smartflower’, to act as an engaging educational tool for visitors.
Plus, an electric vehicle charging hub is also being installed on-site for visitors with Ultra Low Emission vehicles, to support the growing electric vehicle market.
Nick Hounsfield, The Wave founder, said: 'From the word go, we said we would use 100 per cent renewable energy — it would have been so wrong for us to be using fossil fuels to power our waves, thereby contributing to climate change and the acidification of the oceans.
'The plan was always to progress to be able to generate our own energy and to know that this will be a reality by next year is a dream come true.'
South Gloucestershire Council leader with cabinet responsibility for climate change, councillor Toby Savage, added: 'We are delighted to be able to support The Wave in bringing forward their solar and energy storage proposals at their surfing destination in Easter Compton.
'The solar farm and EV facilities will help increase the amount of renewable generation in South Gloucestershire as well as encouraging visitors to sustainably travel to The Wave in electric vehicles.'
The Wave’s inland surfing destination, near junction 17 of the M5, is easily accessible from Gloucestershire and open seven days a week during the summer season.