Ben Ainslie announces solar-powered sailing base

Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) - the Americas Cup sailing team led by the four-time Olympic gold medallist - has announced that its groundbreaking new headquarters will be powered completely by renewable energy.

The team base, currently under construction on the Camber in Portsmouth, will be powered specifically by high efficiency solar PV technology.

The initial target is to supply 90% of the team’s electricity power needs, with this improving to 100% once energy monitoring is implemented. The headquarters, scheduled for completion in May 2015, will also be accorded BREEAM ‘Excellent’ status.

Leading by example

The solar infrastructure will be provided by Low Carbon, a UK-based renewable energy investor. Low Carbon’s founder and chief executive Roy Bedlow said: “This project has exciting implications for renewable energy. Because the BAR philosophy is about educating and engaging locally, the project will be a fantastic showcase for how large buildings can be almost entirely sustainable.”

BAR has receive a £7.5m government grant to fund the team and its new base, as David Cameron called it a great example of Britain’s long term plan.

Ainslie is not the first sustainability-minded British sailor, after Ellen MacArthur’s foundation published a detailed blueprint Towards the Circular Economy, inspired by her need for resource efficiency on her round-the-world trip.

Brad Allen

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