Windy Rig construction keeps it local

Windy Rig construction keeps it local

Statkraft has announced it has awarded Scottish company RJ McLeod the contract to undertake the civil engineering works for the 43MW Windy Rig wind farm in Scotland.

Construction is expected to take around 16 months, with the project due to reach operational stage in 2021.

Ionic Consulting are supporting Statkraft as Owner’s Engineer during construction, with RJ McLeod completing the Civil Works and Powersystems UK providing the Electrical Works.

Windy Rig wind farm is a subsidy free project located in Dumfries & Galloway and was originally developed by Element Power (acquired by Statkraft in September 2018).

Statkraft UK Managing Director, David Flood said: “Windy Rig is our first subsidy-free wind project in the UK and is an exciting milestone for our company. This kicks off the start of a busy year across all sectors of our business.”

Barry Maher, Statkraft Project Manager for the work said: “We are delighted to be able to appoint such experienced Civil and Electrical contractors in RJMcLeod and Powersystems UK and are confident they will execute the works in and safe and timely manner with minimum impact on local residents. We will continue our engagement with local communities throughout the project and will promote the use of locally sourced resources and workforce.”

Jamie Corser, Business Development Manager at RJ McLeod said “This marks our fourth project working with Statkraft in Scotland and this contract takes us over 2750MW of onshore wind farms built or in construction. We look forward to working with Statkraft to deliver another successful project.”
Statkraft has agreed to transfer ownership of the project to Greencoat UK Wind post-construction, with Statkraft managing the construction and providing operational management services for the wind farm once the project is online.

Europe’s largest producer of renewable energy, Statkraft have stated plans to bring forward 600MW of renewable energy projects in the UK by 2025 with at least a further 600MW in development. The company acquired UK onshore wind development company Airvolution Clean Energy in August 2019 to boost its development pipeline.

This marks Powersystems UK’s fourth project with the Statkraft team, and are familiar partners for RJ McLeod, having worked together on over 30 projects.
Ionic Consulting recently completed their 7th project for Statkraft, this contract being their first Statkraft project in Scotland. Ionic opened their Edinburgh office in November 2018.

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Powersystems Announce First Major Bus Electrification in Scotland

Powersystems Announce First Major Bus Electrification in Scotland

Powersystems UK are part of a nationwide team that design, install, commission and maintain electrical vehicle (EV) infrastructure for bus and vehicle manufacturers as well as fleet transport operators.

As a leading high voltage engineering specialist, Powersystems have been appointed to design, supply, install, test and commission the electric vehicle charging infrastructure for 22 BYD ADL Enviro 200EV buses for First Bus, Glasgow.

As part of the project Powersystems will also be installing the client’s High Voltage (HV) and Low Voltage (LV) infrastructure, which, will include high voltage substations, transformers, LV distribution switchgear and LV cables connecting to 80 kW electric vehicle charge points.

In parallel Powersystems will be engaging with SP Energy Networks to enable the design and installation of the HV assets from the connection point to the metering substation which will be adopted by Scottish Power.

Mark Tanner, Contracts Manager at Powersystems said, “There are a number of factors you need to consider when upgrading local electricity network for your bus or fleet infrastructure projects. Early engagement is key to enable clients to secure grid capacity.”

The delivery of this project will be overseen by Gary West, Engineering Director for First Bus in Scotland, he said: “We are delighted to be working alongside SP Energy Networks and Powersystems UK to future proof our depot with the installation of 22 Electric Vehicle charging points as part of our electric bus launch. This project will see us introduce the first fully electric commercial bus service to Glasgow. The installation of the Electric Vehicle charging points also allows us to plan for and consider more fully electric vehicles for future fleet investment.”

First Bus continues to invest in a modern fleet, manufactured in Scotland by Alexander Dennis.

The electric buses are being fully funded as part of SP Energy Networks £20million Green Economy Fund, which supports Glasgow’s mission to become the UK’s first net zero emissions city by 2030. It also contributes to the Scottish Government’s ambitious plans to meet climate change targets, boost local economic growth, improve air quality across the country and deliver a better future, quicker for their communities. Powersystems have been engaging with and assisting the major bus and fleet operators in the UK with their grid and infrastructure requirements as the nation moves towards decarbonised transportation.

For more information about Powersystems please visit the website www.powersystemsuk.co.uk

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Investment decision to construct and sell first UK Windy Rig wind project

Investment decision to construct and sell first UK Windy Rig wind project

Europe’s largest producer of renewable energy, Statkraft has announced its decision to construct the 43MW Windy Rig wind farm in Scotland, and subsequently transfer ownership of the project post-construction to Greencoat UK Wind PLC.

In addition, Statkraft has further agreed to transfer ownership of the 38MW Twentyshilling wind farm post-construction to Greencoat UK Wind, subject to a final investment decision on the project in early 2020.

Windy Rig and Twentyshilling wind farms are subsidy free projects located in Dumfries & Galloway and were originally developed by Element Power (acquired by Statkraft in September 2018).

Statkraft has agreed to transfer ownership of the projects to Greencoat UK Wind post-construction, with Statkraft managing the construction and providing operational management services for the wind farms once the projects are exporting to the grid. Both projects are due to reach operations in 2021.

Statkraft UK Managing Director, David Flood said: “Windy Rig is our first subsidy-free wind project in the UK, and this investment decision is in line with our ambitions to develop our pipeline and deploy 600 MW of renewable projects in the UK by 2025”.

Sean Maguire, Vice President Commercial at Statkraft, commented: “We are delighted these projects have reached the next phase, and will continue to work closely with Greencoat UK Wind as the projects progress into construction and operations.”

Alison Hood, Communications Manager at Statkraft said: “This transaction allows our team to ensure continuity and a local presence as the projects are built and go into operation, and we look forward to discussing the next stage of these projects with the community.”

The transaction marks a significant milestone for the Norwegian utility, who have stated plans to bring forward 600MW of renewable energy projects in the UK by 2025 with at least a further 600MW in development.  The company acquired UK onshore wind development company Airvolution Clean Energy in August 2019 to boost its development pipeline.

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Study finds biomethane-fuelled cars are the most environmentally-friendly option

Study finds biomethane-fuelled cars are the most environmentally-friendly option

Study finds biomethane-fuelled cars are the most environmentally-friendly option

A recent study has revealed biomethane-fuelled cars are the best transportation option to preserve air quality. The research, conducted by IFP Energies Nouvelles in France, reveals that light vehicles running on biomethane are more environmentally-friendly than other technologies.

The study compares the carbon footprint of the lifecycle of compressed natural gas (CNG) and biomethane vehicles to that of diesel, gasoline and electric vehicles.

According to the European Biogas Association (EBA), this research pre-empts the intention of the European Commission to evaluate ‘the possibility of developing a common Union method for the evaluation of CO2 emissions throughout the lifecycle of these vehicles” in 2023.

Currently, the EU has agreed to reduce average CO2 emissions from new cars by 15% in 2025 and 37.5% in 2030. While these standards measure emissions produced by car usage (tank-to-wheel), they do not consider the full carbon footprint of the vehicles (well-to-wheel). The EBA claims this becomes ‘very relevant’ when comparing emissions from different types of low-carbon vehicles. For example, electric vehicles would be carbon neutral from a tank-to-wheel perspective, but the results differ with well-to-wheel.

A key takeaway from the study is that further biomethane upscaling is needed. The current capacity in France can only supply 100,000-150,000 vehicles. The study recommends a mix of green natural gas (known as bioGNV in France) and biomethane (60%-40%) up to 2030, which could power vehicles with a climate impact equivalent to that of an electric car.

Susanna Pflüger, secretary-general of the EBA, said: “The EEA and many other organisations are highlighting the urgency to decrease CO2 emissions from the transport sector. We have a responsibility towards the environment and our society, and we need to consider every option to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

“Renewable gas, together with various other renewable sources and low-carbon technologies, must all be part of the solution. The development and upscaling of these technologies will need a holistic, technology-neutral and long-term legislative framework to make this development possible.”

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RBS urged to end financing of the coal, oil and gas sectors

RBS urged to end financing of the coal, oil and gas sectors

RBS urged to end financing of the coal, oil and gas sectors

THE ROYAL Bank of Scotland has been urged by over 30 third sector groups to be a ‘climate change leader’ by formally closing the door on the financing of the coal, oil and gas sectors.

The groups from around the world, and include environmental organisations such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth as well as Christian Aid have sent an open letter to Alison Rose, the newly appointed chief executive laying out the case for her to take the radical action.

The groups say an analysis shows that the taxpayer-supported bank’s financing of fossil fuel companies is now “negligible”, putting it in a “prime position to show real climate leadership” by definitively ending its support for the coal, oil and gas sector.
In August, RBS said it would stop financing coal-fired power plants or coal mines under a sustainability policy designed to help to tackle climate change.

Projects to drill for oil in the Arctic and mining oil sands, two of the most environmentally contentious forms of oil production, also will be barred, RBS said.

It also said it would tighten up restrictions on lending to companies and would not provide finance to those that got more than 40 per cent of their revenues from thermal coal mining or coal-fired power plants, down from 65 per cent previously.

But the groups say that RBS’s policy restrictions do not close off the possibility of future support for new conventional oil and gas projects or for all coal companies seeking to expand their activities.

Greig Aitken, Climate campaigner at BankTrack, said: “RBS fossil fuel lending might be close to nothing in practice, but if this is not translated into necessary policy changes, the bank is keeping its doors open to potential new fossil fuel finance.

“As the climate crisis intensifies, and with growing global consensus that fossil fuel expansion has to end urgently, we’re hopeful that new CEO Alison Rose will see the business and sustainability case for ending the bank’s fossil fuel financing, and thereby position RBS as the climate leader in the banking sector.”

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Net-zero not possible without circular economy

Net-zero not possible without circular economy

Net-zero not possible without circular economy, Ellen MacArthur Foundation finds

Focusing on decarbonising the energy sector alone will not put the world within touching distance of a net-zero carbon economy, according to a new report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation which claims that the transition to a circular economy is also vital.

The report suggests that adopting a circular economy framework across certain production areas would achieve emissions reductions totalling 9.3bn tonnes
The Completing the Picture: How the Circular Economy tackles Climate Change report, published by the Foundation (EMF), in collaboration with Material Economics, found that moving to renewables across the globe will only address 55% of greenhouse gas emissions. To tackle the remaining 45%, the paper notes that transitioning to close-loop value chains, diet shift, emerging innovations and carbon capture and storage are all required.

The report examined the role of the circular economy in tackling overlooked emissions, namely in the production of steel, plastic, aluminium, cement and food. According to the report, keeping products and materials in use can reduce emissions per sector by up to 40%. In the food system, regenerative farming and designing out waste can reduce emissions as part of a circular economy by 49%.

Overall, the report suggests that adopting a circular economy framework across those production areas would achieve emissions reductions totalling 9.3bn tonnes – equivalent to eliminating current emissions from all forms of transport globally.

“Switching to renewable energy plays a vital role in addressing climate change, but this alone will not be enough. In order to achieve targets on climate, it is critical that we transform how we design, make, and use products, and food. Completing the picture through a transition to a circular economy can enable us to meet the needs of a growing global population, while creating a prosperous and resilient economy that can run in the long term,” said Dame Ellen MacArthur, founder of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

“This paper shows that transitioning to a circular economy is not only an opportunity to tackle emissions across sectors, but to design an economy that is restorative and regenerative, creating benefits for society, businesses, and the environment.”
Closed-loop, net-zero

The EMF hopes that the report provides a clear message for other industries that traditionally operate within a linear economy of take, make and dispose, such as fashion, electronics and packaging.

The report references the need to reach net-zero by 2050, as outlined in the IPCC Special Report document. That report warns that the world is already 1C warmer than pre-industrial levels, and that an increase to 2C would significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people. The report predicts that if the world can become carbon-neutral by 2047, we will have a 66% chance of meeting the most ambitious end of the Paris Agreement pledge.

Commenting on the report, Christiana Figueres, former Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and Founding Partner, Global Optimism said: “Carbon constraints actually represent huge ingenuity opportunities. That is true for every company, for every city and any country.

“That is the direction in which we need to move, and this report offers compelling figures to give confidence in our ability to optimize decarbonisation and economic development in mutual support of each other.”

The findings of the EMF report build on the suggestions of a report released at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos in January, which outlined the urgent need for nations to “wake up to the potential” of the circular economy in order to push the world towards the Paris Agreement’s more ambitious pathway.

The Circularity Gap Report 2019, released by non-profit Circle Economy, which consists of a member community of businesses including Arup, ING and VF Corp. The report notes that most governments are failing to consider circular economy policies in order to limit global warming to 1.5C.

The report notes that just 9% of the global economy is considered circular, meaning that less than 10% of the 92.8 billion tonnes of material extracted for use is reused annually. With global material use more than tripling since the 1970s – and set to double again by 2050 – Circle Economy is advising governments to rethink approaches to resource use in select sectors.

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