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Lead delivery organisation: HALO Urban Regeneration Company
Operational since: April 2021
Project type: Mixture
Charging infrastructure on site: ac slow/fast, charging hub, DC≥50kW
Features on site: accessibility solutions, active travel links, battery storage, mobility hub, public/community transport links, renewable energy, solar canopies, vehicle sharing/pool vehicles

Project summary

An EV charging hub with three on-site electric vehicles, linked with solar canopies and battery storage, situated alongside a digital commercial hub built to support the area’s economic regeneration. 


HALO Urban Regeneration Company was established to revitalise formerly vacant industrial land within communities experiencing economic challenges. They opened their first site in January 2022, an Enterprise and Innovation Centre (EIC) in Kilmarnock. HALO describes the EIC as “a commercial hub created to stimulate digital learning, inspire innovative thinking and provide a conducive environment for spin-out, new-start, scale-ups, digital, manufacturing and cyber businesses of all sizes.”  HALO wanted to include a lowcarbon energy and transport system as part of this development. With support from Scottish Power’s Green Energy Fund, they planned to install the following:  

  • Canopy solar photovoltaic (PV) panels in the car park. 
  • Rooftop solar PV panels on the commercial hub building. 
  • A battery energy storage system (BESS). 
  • EV charging infrastructure. 
  • eBike charging stations.  


HALO wanted to explore how effectively on-site renewables and low carbon technologies could be integrated within the newly built commercial premises. They intend to use what they learned from the project to inform future HALO community development sites while providing economic growth for Kilmarnock.  

Project overview

The components of the installation are: 

  • A 75 PV panel carport solar array, generating approximately 26,000kWh of electricity annually. 
  • A 107 PV panel rooftop solar array, generating approximately 36,000kWh of electricity annually. 
  • A 153kWh BESS, with a usable capacity of 139kWh. 
  • Twelve chargepoints: two 50kW DC units and 10 AC units; nine 22kW and one 7kW. Of these, 11 are open to the public, with one reserved for charging HALO’s three electric vehicles: a bus and two cars.
  • Ten ebike charging stations. 

Both PV set ups feed into the main consumer unit, with any excess electricity generated going to the BESS. The BESS charges from the grid at night when the tariff rate is lower and discharges at higher tariff times during the day. The carport EV chargepoints are powered by shared distribution via the on-site PV, BESS, and the electricity grid. 


As their site includes commercial, educational, leisure and lifestyle elements, HALO set out for the EIC to become one of Scotland’s first sustainable communities powered by renewable energy. As part of this, they aimed to operate a low-carbon building and enable electric vehicle charging that used local solar generation. They expect this linkage of renewable energy generation with EV charging to keep their operational carbon footprint low.

Progress so far​

All the planned hardware has been installed and is operational. During the first summer after installation, the PV array powering the chargepoints generated approximately 1,600kWh of electricity a month on average. Typical monthly energy requirements from EVs charging on-site was approximately 4,000kWh. For the remaining 2,400kWh required, approximately 800kWh came from the main building roof PV. The rest came from a mixture of the grid and energy from the BESS drawn during the low tariff period. 

Since installation, building occupants have predominantly used the charging units during working hours. There have also been several local drivers regularly charging their vehicles in the evenings and at weekends. As well as people using the bays during events at the neighbouring college.  

Challenges faced​

The main challenges so far have related to the tariff on the infrastructure. After the initial installation, HALO had an agreement to set up a ‘free vend’ for use of the units on ChargePlace Scotland for one year. However, this ended up being closer to two years due to a delay in finalising contract terms with the chargepoint operator.  

After introducing their own tariff at the beginning of August 2023, monthly utilisation at HALO has dropped significantly to approximately 600kWh. Low utilisation rates mean lower revenue streams, potentially impacting the long-term viability of the charging infrastructure and any plans for expansion. It is expected that usage rates will rebound with the increasing popularity and availability of EVs. 

Key lessons learned​

Overall, HALO felt that the provision of the PV to assist in electricity generation for the charging station has been extremely positive. They recommend that others developing charging infrastructure projects consider incorporating solar energy and BESS components.  

Further information

If you would like to know more about this project, more information can be found here. 

Contact information