Electrical infrastructure works have been completed to house 22 e-buses in Glasgow

Electrical infrastructure works have been completed to house 22 e-buses in Glasgow

22 new electric buses are to arrive on site ahead of COP26. Phase Two of major works at Caledonia depot is due for completion in summer 2022 to support 150 fully electric vehicles being built by Falkirk-based manufacturer  Alexander Dennis. They are expected at the newly transformed depot in batches over the next 18 months with the final buses entering service early in 2023 (35 single deck and 91 double deck are expected to run over 100,000 miles per week and replace the most polluting Euro III vehicles from the fleet).

With phased completion for the remainder of the work scheduled to take place across the next 12 months, the depot has been designed to accommodate and charge up to 300 EV buses on site – and will see the introduction of 150 electric buses over the next 18 months.

As we have seen, the future of e-mobility is built on rapid charging, and ensuring the charging infrastructure is in place to make this a possibility must be a priority. Our partnership with First Bus to bring versatile, convenient charging to the city of Glasgow puts us in a unique position ahead of COP26 later this year, to make a significant contribution to the discussions at the event, as well as positively impacting fleet owners across the UK. Our unique charging offering ensures fleet owners are able to effectively deploy and manage their e-fleets while serving cities of the future.

Michael Colijn, Chief Executive Officer at Heliox Group said

First Glasgow: a depot for e-buses

The depot transformation is being delivered thanks to over £63m of funding: First Bus is investing £35.6m into the project, while the Scottish Government’s Scottish Ultra Low Bus Scheme (SULEB) is funding a further £28.2m.

Glasgow’s Caledonia bus depot has reached a key milestone in its green transformation plans with the installation of 11 advanced rapid 150kW dual cable charging units. This first phase of work has been completed ahead of a new batch of 22 electric buses arriving at the depot ahead of COP26, and marks a significant step forward in First Bus’ plans to have a zero-emission fleet by 2035.

The state-of-the-art dual cable direct current rapid charging units have been supplied by Dutch rapid charging business Heliox and installed by Powersystems.

Each rapid charging station will be controlled via smart charging software to ensure that power is used in the most efficient way. This approach will help minimize the draw down from the national grid at peak times. The digital programming will also mean that each vehicle is fully charged, and the bus interiors are preheated, ready for drivers and customers from the moment the vehicles leave the depot. With an additional 69 rapid chargers to be installed in Phase Two, Caledonia depot will soon be able to charge 162 vehicles at one time.

Following completion, the adapted depot will have the capability to charge 89% of the depot’s electric bus fleet at the same time using smart charging software. First Bus’ long-term objective is to ensure that the site is fully prepared for the transition to a 100% zero-emission fleet. This will include opportunities for further on-site renewable energy generation and storage.Future of e-mobility relies on rapid charging

Janette Bell, Managing Director for First Bus UK said: «Innovative technology and electric infrastructure are key to minimising the UK’s carbon emissions, and so it’s fantastic to see this first step of our vision for the UK’s largest EV bus depot come to fruition. Our transition to a zero-emission fleet is a bold ambition, and at every stage First Bus is committed to transforming our business for the good of the environment. We’re proud to be putting our weight behind Scotland’s green ambitions and the completion of this first phase of works at Caledonia depot give us an exciting glimpse into the future of bus. To see this first EV charging station site completed and ready to go in Glasgow, just as the city prepares to host COP26 later this year, is a brilliant achievement.

Michael Colijn, Chief Executive Officer at Heliox Group said: “As we have seen, the future of e-mobility is built on rapid charging, and ensuring the charging infrastructure is in place to make this a possibility must be a priority. Our partnership with First Bus to bring versatile, convenient charging to the city of Glasgow puts us in a unique position ahead of COP26 later this year, to make a significant contribution to the discussions at the event, as well as positively impacting fleet owners across the UK. Our unique charging offering ensures fleet owners are able to effectively deploy and manage their e-fleets while serving cities of the future.”

Powersystems are actively powering the transition to a carbon free future in the UK transport sector. The high voltage specialist electrical engineering team have delivered electric infrastructure works for First Bus Glasgow at its Caledonia depot which is to become the UK’s largest Electric Vehicle (EV) charging hub, marking a significant step towards the bus operator’s net zero targets, as well as the UK’s wider ambitions.

UK government launches first-ever Hydrogen Strategy

UK government launches first-ever Hydrogen Strategy

The UK’s first-ever Hydrogen Strategy drives forward the commitments laid out in the Prime Minister’s ambitious 10 Point Plan for a green industrial revolution by setting the foundation for how the UK government will work with industry to meet its ambition for 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030 – the equivalent of replacing natural gas in powering around 3 million UK homes each year as well as powering transport and businesses, particularly heavy industry.

  • First-ever vision to kick start world-leading hydrogen economy set to support over 9,000 UK jobs and unlock £4 billion investment by 2030
  • consultation also launched to look at ways to overcome cost gap between low carbon hydrogen and fossil fuels
  • £105 million in UK government funding provided to support polluting industries to significantly slash their emissions

Tens of thousands of jobs, billions of pounds in investment and new export opportunities will be unlocked through government plans to create a thriving low carbon hydrogen sector in the UK over the next decade and beyond, the Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has set out today (17 August).

A booming, UK-wide hydrogen economy could be worth £900 million and create over 9,000 high-quality jobs by 2030, potentially rising to 100,000 jobs and worth up to £13 billion by 2050. By 2030, hydrogen could play an important role in decarbonising polluting, energy-intensive industries like chemicals, oil refineries, power and heavy transport like shipping, HGV lorries and trains, by helping these sectors move away from fossil fuels. Low-carbon hydrogen provides opportunities for UK companies and workers across our industrial heartlands.

With government analysis suggesting that 20-35% of the UK’s energy consumption by 2050 could be hydrogen-based, this new energy source could be critical to meet our targets of net zero emissions by 2050 and cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 – a view shared by the UK’s independent Climate Change Committee. In the UK, a low-carbon hydrogen economy could deliver emissions savings equivalent to the carbon captured by 700 million trees by 2032 and is a key pillar of capitalising on cleaner energy sources as the UK moves away from fossil fuels.

Business & Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said:

Today marks the start of the UK’s hydrogen revolution. This home-grown clean energy source has the potential to transform the way we power our lives and will be essential to tackling climate change and reaching Net Zero.

With the potential to provide a third of the UK’s energy in the future, our strategy positions the UK as first in the global race to ramp up hydrogen technology and seize the thousands of jobs and private investment that come with it.

Energy & Climate Change Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said:

Today’s Hydrogen Strategy sends a strong signal globally that we are committed to building a thriving low carbon hydrogen economy that could deliver hundreds of thousands of high-quality green jobs, helps millions of homes transition to green energy, support our key industrial heartlands to move away from fossil fuels and bring in significant investment.

The government’s approach is based on the UK’s previous success with offshore wind, where early government action coupled with strong private sector backing has earned the UK a world leading status. One of the main tools used by government to support the establishment of offshore wind in the UK was the Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme, which incentivises investment in renewable energy by providing developers with direct protection from volatile wholesale prices and protects consumers from paying increased support costs when electricity prices are high.

As such, the government has today launched a public consultation on a preferred hydrogen business model which, built on a similar premise to the offshore wind CfDs, is designed to overcome the cost gap between low carbon hydrogen and fossil fuels, helping the costs of low-carbon alternatives to fall quickly, as hydrogen comes to play an increasing role in our lives. Alongside this, the government is consulting on the design of the £240 million Net Zero Hydrogen Fund, which aims to support the commercial deployment of new low carbon hydrogen production plants across the UK.

Other measures included in the UK’s first-ever Hydrogen Strategy include:

  • outlining a ‘twin track’ approach to supporting multiple technologies including ‘green’ electrolytic and ‘blue’ carbon capture-enabled hydrogen production, and committing to providing further detail in 2022 on the government’s production strategy
  • collaborating with industry to develop a UK standard for low carbon hydrogen giving certainty to producers and users that the hydrogen the UK produces is consistent with net zero while supporting the deployment of hydrogen across the country
  • undertaking a review to support the development of the necessary network and storage infrastructure to underpin a thriving hydrogen sector
  • working with industry to assess the safety, technical feasibility, and cost effectiveness of mixing 20% hydrogen into the existing gas supply. Doing so could deliver a 7% emissions reduction on natural gas
  • launching a hydrogen sector development action plan in early 2022 setting out how the government will support companies to secure supply chain opportunities, skills and jobs in hydrogen

CEO of ITM Power Dr Graham Cooley said:

By supporting the creation of a UK home market, today’s announcement is a very welcome step in helping British companies cement their positions as world leaders in hydrogen technology. The industry needs a policy landscape in place that identifies priorities and support mechanisms for rolling out green hydrogen production in the UK and that’s just what today’s Hydrogen Strategy sets out.

Green, zero-carbon hydrogen can abate greenhouse gas emissions from industry, transport and heat. It can be used to store our abundant renewable energy from offshore wind and longer term, be used to create export markets. This is a win for the UK’s decarbonisation plans, a win for cleaner air and a win for British jobs.

Hydrogen Director at National Grid Antony Green said:

The transition to a green economy will require a mix of technologies and hydrogen will play a vital role. This strategy signals the UK’s commitment to hydrogen and provides the certainty needed to boost consumer and investor confidence and support commercial solutions. Importantly, unlocking the potential of hydrogen as a clean energy solution requires significant pace and innovation to scale up production, and the guidance from government today will be key to triggering the investment and buy-in needed to achieve this.

Chief Policy Director at CBI Matthew Fell said:

With hydrogen key to unlocking decarbonisation across carbon-intensive sectors, as well as stimulating high levels of skilled green jobs, the government’s Hydrogen Strategy is a key milestone in the delivery of the UK’s 10 Point Plan.

As a leader in high skilled manufacturing, and with an extensive legacy in energy production, the UK stands perfectly positioned to capitalise on the opportunities provided by hydrogen.

As the countdown to COP26 continues, hydrogen is an area where the UK can lead by example on the global stage, showcasing the value of strong partnerships between government and the private sector on the road to reducing emissions.

Chief Executive at SSE Alistair Phillips-Davies said:

We strongly welcome the publication of this first-ever Hydrogen Strategy and hope to turn this encouraging strategy into firm and rapid action through our exciting plans. These include working with Equinor on the world’s first major hydrogen-fired power station at Keadby and developing hydrogen storage caverns at Aldbrough, as well as our partnership with Siemens Gamesa to co-locate hydrogen production facilities at our wind farms. The strategy is a welcome first step to realising the potential of hydrogen.

Prioritising and supporting polluting industries to significantly slash their emissions, the government also announced today a £105 million funding package through its Net Zero Innovation Portfolio that will act as a first step to build up Britain’s low carbon hydrogen economy. The investment will help industries to develop low carbon alternatives for industrial fuels, including hydrogen, which will be key to meeting climate commitments. This includes:

  • £55 million Industrial Fuel Switching Competition. Funding will support the development and trials of solutions to switch industry from high to low carbon fuels such as natural gas to clean hydrogen, helping industry reach net zero by 2050
  • £40 million Red Diesel Replacement Competition. Providing grant funding for the development and demonstration of low carbon alternatives to diesel for the construction, quarrying and mining sectors, with the aim of decarbonising these industries reliant on red diesel, a fuel used mainly for off-road purposes such as in bulldozers. With red diesel responsible for the production of nearly 14 million tonnes of carbon each year, the investment supports the UK government’s budget announcement removing the entitlement to use red diesel and rebated biodiesel
  • £10 million Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator (IEEA). Offering funding to clean technology developers to work with industrial sites to install, test and prove solutions for reducing UK industry’s energy and resource consumption

This comes as the Transport Secretary unveils the winners of a £2.5 million R&D competition for hydrogen transport pilots in the Tees Valley area, which will lead to supermarkets, emergency services and delivery companies trialling hydrogen-powered transport to move goods and carry out local services.

Associate Director for the Carbon Trust Paul Huggins said:

The previous rounds of the Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator have seen over £8 million of funding awarded to 16 successful projects. The programme has been instrumental in securing the first industrial demonstration of a wide range of innovative technologies, with the future potential to deliver up to 10 million tonnes of cumulative carbon savings over 10 years.

Seeing these technologies working at scale on site will reduce the barriers to widespread industry adoption of energy saving technologies. We are delighted that BEIS has re-appointed the Carbon Trust and our partners, Jacobs and KTN, to deliver the next round of the IEEA and look forward to supporting the next wave of demonstration projects and further contributing to UK’s industry transition toward net zero.

Hydrogen can be made as safe as natural gas. As the hydrogen economy develops, all necessary assessments will be carried out and measures put in place to ensure that hydrogen is stored, distributed and used in a safe way.

The UK government is already working with the Health and Safety Executive and energy regulator Ofgem to support industry to conduct first-of-a-kind hydrogen heating trials. These trials along with the results of a wider research and development testing programme will inform a UK government decision in 2026 on the role of hydrogen in decarbonising heat. If a positive case is established, by 2035 hydrogen could be playing a significant role in heating people’s homes and businesses, powering cars, cookers, boilers and more – helping to slash carbon emissions from the UK’s heating system and tackle climate change.

Director of Policy at the Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA) Frank Gordon said:

This Strategy provides welcome clarity. The REA urged the government to provide certainty for investors, deliver a technology neutral approach and highlight the range of low carbon pathways. The Hydrogen Strategy starts to answer those calls and offers a positive vision for the role of hydrogen in meeting the UK’s net zero ambitions.

Backed up by the Net Zero Hydrogen Fund, a revenue support scheme for hydrogen production and a standard methodology to define when hydrogen is low carbon, we believe this Strategy can provide a stimulus for British-based hydrogen production over the coming years.

Chief Executive of Energy UK Emma Pinchbeck said:

Hydrogen and CCUS are going to be incredibly valuable for sectors that will be difficult to decarbonise with electricity – and so we welcome that today’s Hydrogen Strategy takes an economy-wide approach to developing these innovative technologies. The UK has real potential for hydrogen and CCUS, both of which can deliver new skilled jobs, particularly in places where the UK already has a proud industrial and energy heritage.

Executive Director at the Aldersgate Group Nick Molho said:

We welcome the consultation on business models to make large-scale low carbon hydrogen production commercially viable and the commitment to develop a robust standard to ensure UK hydrogen production is consistent with the net zero target.

Low carbon hydrogen has a crucial role to play in cutting emissions in complex sectors of the economy, such as long-range road transport and heavy industry in both clustered and dispersed sites. The key to ramping up production and cutting the cost of low carbon hydrogen – including the scaling up of green electrolysis capacity – will be to combine meaningful demonstration projects in sectors such as steel and investment in skills, with rapid clarity on the market mechanisms industry can rely on to make a predictable return on investment.

The Hydrogen Strategy is one of a series of strategies the UK government is publishing ahead of the UN Climate Summit COP26 taking place in Glasgow this November. The UK government has already published its Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy, Transport Decarbonisation Strategy and North Sea Transition Deal, while its Heat and Buildings and Net Zero Strategies will be published this year.

Case studies

Across the UK innovative projects are already taking place, kickstarting Britain’s world-leading low carbon hydrogen economy. This includes:

  • In Scotland. The Acorn Hydrogen project located in St Fergus, Aberdeenshire, is taking advantage of existing oil and gas infrastructure to reform North Sea natural gas into low carbon hydrogen with the emissions created from generating the hydrogen, safely removed and stored through carbon capture, usage and storage. The project is being led by Storegga, with funding and support from industry partners including Harbour Energy, Shell, the UK and Scottish Governments and the European Union.
  • In Northern Ireland. The development of hydrogen-powered buses by Wrightbus in Belfast. The company has invested heavily into developing hydrogen fuel cell buses and has received over £8 million over the last four years from Government research and development funding for the automotive sector.
  • In Wales. In Port Talbot a project by Hanson Cement is demonstrating how hydrogen from renewable energy can help decarbonise cement manufacturing.
  • In England. As part of the BEIS-funded HyNet Industrial Fuel Switching Competition, Unilever alongside Progressive Energy are running a trial to switch an onsite natural gas-fired boiler to hydrogen. The boiler, located at Unilever’s Port Sunlight facility on the Wirral, raises steam used for the manufacture of home and personal care products.

A full list of ongoing hydrogen projects across the UK, as well as explainers about what hydrogen is and how it works is available. See the full list of documents published today:

Today’s Hydrogen Strategy package also contains further detail on different ways to produce hydrogen and our technical cost projections of each technology out to 2050, and an annex setting out the analysis and evidence underpinning the Hydrogen Strategy and consultations.

Through the safety workstream of the Hy4heat programme, the UK government has supported work to assess the safe use of hydrogen gas in certain types of domestic properties and buildings, as part of preparation for the first community trials using hydrogen as a heating source.

Further support the UK government is providing for hydrogen projects include:

1. £240 million Net Zero Hydrogen Fund to support new hydrogen production projects;

2. Hydrogen Business Model to stimulate private investment in new low carbon hydrogen projects;

3. Phase 2 of the £315 million Industrial Energy Transformation Fund to support industry to switch to low carbon fuels, including hydrogen;

4. Up to £60 million through the Low Carbon Hydrogen Supply 2 competition to support innovative hydrogen production, transport and storage technologies;

5. £68 million Longer Duration Energy Storage Demonstration competition;

6. World-leading trials of hydrogen for heating, including a hydrogen neighbourhood trial by 2023, hydrogen village trial by 2025 and potential pilot hydrogen town by the end of the decade;

7. Up to £183 million for transport decarbonisation, including trials and roll-outs of hydrogen technologies for buses, HGV lorries, shipping and aviation, including:

  • up to £120 million this year through the Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) scheme towards 4,000 new zero emission buses, either hydrogen or battery electric, and infrastructure needed to support them
  • up to £20 million this year to design trials for both electric road system and hydrogen long haul heavy road vehicles (HGVs) and to run a battery electric trial to establish the feasibility, deliverability, costs and benefits of each technology
  • up to £20 million this year for the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition
  • up to £15 million this year for the ‘Green Fuels, Green Skies’ competition to support the production of first-of-a-kind sustainable aviation fuel plants in the UK
  • £3 million this year to support the development of a Hydrogen Transport Hub in Tees Valley, and £4.8 million (subject to business case) to support the development of a hydrogen hub in Holyhead, Wales

The £95 million UK government funding package and £10 million Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator (IEEA) comes from the £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio. See details of all 3 competitions, and how to register interest. As part of the £10 million IEEA, the government has awarded £1.7 million to the Carbon Trust to be the delivery partner for the programme.

Government warned National Grid needs bolstering to cope with electric vehicle demand

Government warned National Grid needs bolstering to cope with electric vehicle demand

The parliamentary committee has produced a new report, in which it questioned whether the government will be able to deliver its current goals when it comes to electrification. The National Grid needs to be strengthened if it is to cope with the strain of millions of electric vehicles needing to be charged, the transport committee has warned.

  • Transport committee says the National Grid won’t be able to cope with additional EV charging demand
  • Concerns raised that those living in rural areas will be left behind by charging network
  • Report recommends more funding for local planning and transport bodies

The report raised particular concern about whether motorists living in rural areas who don’t have the ability to charge at home could be left behind by poor public charging infrastructure. The Transport Committee has set out a series of recommendations to government to increase electric vehicle (EV) uptake while ensuring the electricity demand of charging can be met.

Basing these recommendations on 148 submissions to its call for evidence, three oral evidence sessions, a survey with 979 responses and a visit to ChargePoint’s research and development lab, the committee said there are still questions on whether the government’s current plans are enough to deliver the public charging infrastructure required across all regions of the UK.

It said that there are also concerns that unless charging habits change or the national grid is strengthened, the charging needs from millions of new EVs will cause blackouts to parts of the country.

As such, the government must work with National Grid to map national coverage to identify locations where the grid won’t cope with additional usage.

Another area of the committee’s focus was interoperability, with parliamentary under secretary of state at the Department for Transport Rachel Maclean confirming to the committee that the government intends to regulate for interoperability between public chargepoints later this year. She acknowledged that while there is an overriding need to legislate, the right balance needs to be struck between making charging easier for the consumer and allowing the market to remain attractive for investment.

Interoperability has been on the government’s radar for some time, having detailed potential methods of simplifying payment in a consultation earlier this year, with these including an interoperable roaming platform established by the government, a requirement for chargepoint operators to open their networks and a market-led approach where the government doesn’t yet regulate.

This followed Matt Western, then-chair of the APPG on EVs, calling on Ecotricity, Pod Point and BP Chargemaster to implement roaming in October 2019, warning that “many MPs are expecting action on this issue, and we would be happy to support amendments to the Automated and Electric Vehicles Act to ensure it, if progress is not made”.

However, Ecotricity and Pod Point hit back, suggesting roaming agreements are “not really relevant” in light of contactless payments.

Alongside interoperability, the Transport Committee also said the government should explain how it plans to tackle the potential price differential faced by people who can’t charge their vehicles at home and therefore rely on on-street chargers, suggesting it could address the discrepancy between the 5% VAT incurred on electricity at home compared with the 20% VAT incurred at public chargepoints.

In May, HMRC confirmed that the VAT on public EV charging stands at 20%, having received requests for clarity from businesses around reduced rates due to the level of electricity being supplied.

While some EV charging networks had already been operating using the 20% VAT rate, InstaVolt announced its costs were increasing 15%, with this to be passed onto its customers.

As part of the government’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure strategy – announced in the Transport Decarbonisation Plan  it must explain how it will ensure the rollout of charging infrastructure keeps pace with EV uptake, the committee said, and how it will support all regions and local authorities to deliver sufficient and well-maintained charging solutions tailored to local needs.

It must also use the strategy to set out how the £950 million Rapid Charging Fund – which is aiming to facilitate the installation of six rapid chargers on each Motorway Service area site by 2023 through financing connection costs – will be spent, with the committee stating the spending priorities are currently “obscure”.

Additionally, the strategy should set out the measures the government is taking to identify and address under-provision at locations outside the strategic road network, where grid connection costs and grid upgrades are expensive and the business case for investment is weak.

The strategy should show how the government will ensure that drivers can seamlessly access any charging network in any location at any time, while ensuring chargepoint operators are not disincentivised from investing in charging infrastructure.

Chair of the Transport Committee, Huw Merriman, said: “Putting guarantees in place on infrastructure is crucial but one report after another flags concerns to government about the provision of electric car charging infrastructure. Let ours be the last: it’s time that ministers set out the route map to delivering a network of services for everyone across the UK.”

The committee also recommended that the government uses the upcoming Planning Bill to make public chargepoint provision a requirement of local plans as well as making funding for the On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme dependent on local authorities having detailed chargepoint plans in place which support rapid charging options.

Funding for the On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme was renewed in February, however research from Centrica released earlier this year found that across the next four years, only 9,317 on-street EV chargers are planned for installation by local authorities, with this being only 35 chargers per council on average.

In response to the report, Chris Pateman-Jones, CEO of Connected Kerb said there is a need to ramp up the installation of on-street charging across the board, including in urban and rural areas.

“Without reliable, affordable and accessible public charging, households without off-street parking will be left behind,” he said.










Cable installation to power UK’s largest public electric vehicle charging hub set to begin

Cable installation to power UK’s largest public electric vehicle charging hub set to begin

Work to install a high-powered underground cable that will deliver electricity to the UK’s largest public electric vehicle charging hub at Redbridge Park & Ride will begin next week.

The cable will help decarbonise transport across Oxford.

Work will begin on Monday 2 August to install the four mile cable, which is an integral part of Energy Superhub Oxford (ESO), a government-backed project showcasing rapid EV charging, battery storage, low carbon heating and smart energy management technologies to cut carbon and improve air quality across Oxford.

The cable will connect National Grid’s Cowley substation to Redbridge Park & Ride, creating the power infrastructure needed to charge lots of electric vehicles quickly at once. The hub – which is expected to open in early 2022 – will provide Oxford residents and businesses with easy access to fast, reliable charging.  A connection point will also be installed at Oxford Bus Company’s Watlington Road depot, ready to support electrification of the city’s bus fleet.

From Cowley substation, the cable will travel up Watlington Road (B480) before joining the Eastern By-Pass where it will travel along the cycleway from Garsington Road roundabout to Long Lane. It will then travel along the residential streets of Long Lane and Newman Road before re-joining the cycleway at the A4158. It will continue along the Eastern bypass via the cycleway to Redbridge Park and Ride.

Sales of EVs in Oxfordshire are already higher than the national average, and analysis carried out on behalf of Oxford City Council shows that to reach net zero by 2040, 25% of cars in Oxford need to be electric by 2025, 80% by 2030, and 100% by 2035. ESO will create the EV charging infrastructure needed to give more people the confidence to make the switch.

About the installation work

The works are being carried out on behalf of ESO project lead, Pivot Power, part of EDF Renewables, and are expected to take approximately five months.
The locations for the works are:

  • National Grid Cowley substation to Watlington Road (B480) – Work starts 02/08/21 for approximately four months. Temporary traffic lights will be in place along Watlington Road
  • Eastern bypass (A4142) to Heyford Hill roundabout – Work starts 16/08/21 for approximately four months. Temporary traffic lights will be in place for Long Lane to Oxford Road section
  • Eastern bypass (A423) to Redbridge Park & Ride (A4144) – Works starts 09/08/21 for approximately five months. Eastern by-pass works will make use of cycleway which will remain open to cyclists.

The installation works are expected to take place between 7am – 7pm from Monday to Sunday. However, some works may need to be carried out at night, as advised by Oxfordshire County Council highways.

High Voltage Specialist Powersystems UK, are the principal contractor for the electric works element of the project which includes the installation of the 4 miles of 33 kV cables terminating into the 33 kV Cowley substation and ultimately will feed the transformers for EV charging. Pegasus Utility Services have also been appointed to complete the excavation works for cable installation.

Residents in the surrounding area have been informed on the upcoming work. Four teams will work simultaneously at different points on the route, with the aim of completing the works as quickly as possible with minimum disruption.

Temporary traffic lights will be in place along parts of the route where works take place on the road.  Access to the cycleway will remain open throughout the works, at a reduced width, and pedestrian ramps will be installed to allow continued access to pavements.

“I am delighted that we are about to start work to install the cable works for Energy Superhub Oxford. This cable work will help to deliver power to the UK’s largest electric vehicle superhub which we will be installing at Redbridge Park & Ride. This is a key milestone in this project, and the future of Oxford’s journey to becoming a net zero city.”

Councillor Tom Hayes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford, Oxford City Council

“The start of the cable installation marks an important milestone for Energy Superhub Oxford as we work to deliver the low carbon infrastructure Oxford needs to accelerate net zero. With our partners, we are doing everything we can to complete these works as quickly as possible and minimise the impact they will have on the local community.”

Tim Rose, programme manager for Energy Superhub Oxford at Pivot Power

Powersystems building EV infrastructure for the UK’s largest electric vehicle charging hub

Powersystems building EV infrastructure for the UK’s largest electric vehicle charging hub

Powersystems are actively powering the transition to a carbon free future in the UK transport sector. The high voltage specialist electrical engineering team are in the process of delivering electric EV Infrastructure works for at its Caledonia depot which is to become the UKFirst Bus Glasgow ’s largest Electric Vehicle (EV) charging hub, marking a significant step towards the bus operator’s net zero targets, as well as the UK’s wider ambitions.

Powersystems, Site Supervisor, Will Tanner updates, ‘At the moment we have completed the LV cabling between the customer HV /LV substation and each charger power supply unit where the AC/DC inverters are held ready for the DC charge posts and power supply units to be delivered and installed in a couple of weeks. Our commissioning team are currently cold commissioning the high voltage switch gear and transformer substation in readiness for final connection to Scottish Powers sub-station.

Scotland is leading the world on climate action, with an ambitious target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 75 percent by 2030. At First Glasgow, they are passionate about the role they must play in making this happen, and they believe that the work we are doing in Glasgow will serve as a green transport model to other cities.

The Caledonia depot in Glasgow is the UK’s largest, making its electrical transformation an ambitious project. In March 2023, once the project is complete, the depot will have space to charge up to 300 EV buses on site. The project has a phased completion schedule, with phase one expected to be complete by September this year, allowing for the introduction of an additional 22 electric buses to Glasgow’s streets. A further 126 EV buses will be delivered and in service over 2021 and 2022, taking the total electric fleet in the city to 150 (including two EVs already in service).

This transformation is in part supported by £28.2m in funding from the Scottish Government’s Scottish Ultra Low Emission Bus Scheme (SULEB).  Since the introduction of the first two electric buses by First Glasgow in 2019, the Scottish Government and Scottish operators have been keen to continue making progress towards net zero targets.

SULEB funding, which provides up to 75 percent of the gap funding between diesel and alternative fuelled buses, along with 75 percent towards the cost of infrastructure changes, has been instrumental in allowing large scale changes such as this project to take place. It’s a wonderful example of what can happen when governments, local authorities and private companies share a vision and collaborate effectively – with the right resources and the right people real progress can be made.

The Caledonia depot transformation is also a fantastic example of work being done now to benefit everyone in the future. Not only will it enable us to power more electric vehicles in the immediate future, it gives us the capacity for us to expand. As it stands, we have funding for 150 vehicles, but our plans mean that we will have space for an additional 150 on top of that, leaving Glasgow well set up for more electric vehicles. This forward-thinking mindset is critical for us to meet our ambition of running a zero-emissions fleet.

Transport is the largest contributor to UK domestic greenhouse gas emissions, responsible for 24% of domestic emissions in 2019. Reducing transport emissions is a crucial part of tackling climate change, meeting the UK’s net zero target and embracing the 2030 internal combustion engine (ICE) phase out, with the additional benefits of reducing air and noise pollution and creating skilled jobs across the supply chain.

Solar Skills Training Launched in London

Solar Skills Training Launched in London

Solar Energy UK and the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan have launched a project to provide training and support for people who want to pursue a career in the solar industry.

The Solar Skills London project intends to develop a solar PV learner curriculum, create a series of introductory workshops for potential new solar industry trainees.

It will also create of a placement programme for trainees with London solar businesses and publish an online solar training and careers hub for the Capital.

There will also be a grants scheme to help London’s solar businesses provide training for their employees

The project will support London’s contribution to clean energy in the UK.

The Mayor of London is targeting 1GW of solar deployment by the end of the decade, which could provide enough power to run over half a million electric vehicles annually.

New solutions have also been developed to make planning solar energy projects easier, including the London Solar Opportunity Map.

Solar Energy UK chief executive Chris Hewett said: “We are delighted to launch this project with the Mayor of London.

“Solar power is clean, affordable and straightforward to deploy.

“This project will help equip the next generation of skilled solar technicians and boost London’s hopes of delivering a green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.”

Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy Shirley Rodrigues said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Solar Energy UK to invest in London’s solar workforce.

“This programme will provide training and apprenticeships in solar technologies and help create more green jobs in the renewable energy sector.

“The Mayor has ambitious plans for solar energy in London which will support his target of reaching net zero carbon by 2030 and support green jobs for Londoners, a key part of his Green New Deal mission for London’s recovery.”

Solar Energy UK is calling on the government to enable the deployment of 40GW of solar energy in the UK by 2030, triple today’s levels.

This is in line with independent analysis by the Climate Change Committee of the UK’s solar needs if it is to have a carbon net zero economy by 2050.

London is already host to innovative solar projects, which include Hackney Light and Power, a company launched by Hackney Council to provide renewable energy services, and Solar Together, the pioneering group-buying scheme which has seen wide take-up in the capital.

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