Ben Ainslie Racing on final stretch to sustainability finish line

Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) has teamed up with Low Carbon to provide solar power to its Portsmouth HQ.

The yacht team, formed by Olympic multi-gold medallist Sir Ben Ainslie, has announced a long-term partnership with renewables investor Low Carbon in its bid to bring the 35th America’s Cup to the UK.

Artist render of BAR's Portsmouth HQ.
Artist render of BAR’s Portsmouth HQ.

The partnership will provide BAR with clean energy as it develops its 2017 bid for the world’s oldest international sporting trophy.

Low Carbon will ensure the team’s headquarters – currently under construction on the Camber in Portsmouth and expected to be completed in the summer of 2015 – is powered by the very latest, high efficiency solar photovoltaic (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 partnership will greatly support BAR’s efforts to run a sustainable business with clean energy. It will also see the team’s HQ accorded BREEAM ‘Excellent’ status – the hallmark of excellence in sustainable building.

Low Carbon’s founder and chief executive Roy Bedlow commented: “I’m very excited by this long-term partnership, and with the prospect of making a key contribution to a true British success story.

“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.”

He added: “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.”

Minister of State for Business, Enterprise and Energy, Matt Hancock added: “This is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate that Britain is not only a sporting world leader but also a leader in innovative technology. Britain is at the cutting edge of solar power, which not only benefits the environment but has the potential to create jobs and secure energy supplies.”

In a separate initiative, Roy Bedlow is joining the board of the team’s charity as a Trustee. Launched in October 2014, the 1851 Trust seeks to inspire and engage a new generation through sailing and the marine industry, providing young people with the education, skills and training required to become innovators of the future, and stewards of the marine environment.