Sir Ben Ainslie picks solar power for Portsmouth America’s Cup Base

Ben Ainslie's America's Cup base being built in Old Portsmouth'' Picture: Paul Jacobs (143533-8)
Ben Ainslie's America's Cup base being built in Old Portsmouth'' Picture: Paul Jacobs (143533-8)

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NESTLED among the striking shapes of Sir Ben Ainslie’s new waterfront race base, solar panels will be used to power all of the building’s operations.

Construction of the new headquarters of Olympic gold medallist Sir Ben’s bid to win the America’s Cup for Britain continues at a pace at the Camber Docks in Old Portsmouth.

Today the sailing legend has announced he wants the entire building to be powered by solar energy.

A partnership between BAR and renewables investor Low Carbon will see the team’s headquarters powered by high-efficiency solar photovoltaic panels installed on the building and boat stacks.

There is an initial target to supply 90 per cent of the team’s net electricity needs from solar, improving to 100 per cent once energy monitoring has been implemented, the scheme’s backers said.

Sir Ben said: ‘We’re delighted to be on board with Low Carbon.

‘This new partnership takes us a long way towards our goal of sustainable, clean energy for our new base.’

Sir Ben founded Ben Ainslie Racing to build a British challenge for the 35th America’s Cup in 2017 and bring the oldest international sporting trophy back to Britain for the first time since the contest began in 1851 with a race around the Isle of Wight.

Low Carbon founder and chief executive Roy Bedlow said the project would be a ‘fantastic showcase for how large buildings can be almost entirely sustainable’.

‘I’m very excited by this long-term partnership, and with the prospect of making a key contribution to a British success story,’ he said.

‘With Low Carbon and BAR sharing an ethos of sustainability, responsibility and mitigating the effects of climate change, I believe that together we can continue to make a difference for the better, long into the future.’

As reported in The News, the city council approved plans for the British team’s America’s Cup headquarters in June last year.

Sir Ben has predicted it could generate around 1,000 jobs and pump more than £40m into the local economy.