Green Hydrogen A Renewable Energy Technology

Green Hydrogen A Renewable Energy Technology

Powersystems reviews Green Hydrogen as a renewable energy technology and some of the challenges the sector faces as we wait for the Hydrogen Strategy publication from the UK Government this year.

Hydrogen is the lightest element of the periodic table and the most common substance in the world.  It can be used as feedstock, fuel or energy carrier and does not emit CO2 when burnt, that is why you often hear about its high potential for decarbonising the economy.

Now, as nations come forward with net-zero strategies to align with their international climate targets, hydrogen has once again risen up the agenda for the UK and Australia through to Germany and Japan.

Potentially hydrogen could soon power trucks, planes and ships. It could heat homes, balance electricity grids and help heavy industry to make everything from steel to cement.

But doing all these things with hydrogen would require staggering quantities of the fuel, which is only as clean as the methods used to produce it. Moreover, for every potentially transformative application of hydrogen, there are unique challenges that must be overcome.

In order to meet the 2050 decarbonisation policies and targets, the UK requires deployment of new technologies in traditional roles. One of these is the innovative technology around the uses of Green Hydrogen.

What is Hydrogen?

Hydrogen is an explosive and clean-burning gas. Since the weight of hydrogen is less than air, it rises in the atmosphere and is therefore rarely found in its pure form, (H2).

In a flame of pure hydrogen gas, burning in air, the hydrogen (H2) reacts with oxygen (O2) to form water (H2O) and releases energy.

The energy released enables hydrogen to act as a fuel. This energy can be used with relatively high efficiency.

Hydrogen can be made by splitting water with electricity (electrolysis) or by splitting fossil fuels or biomass with heat or steam, using “reforming” or “pyrolysis”. Any CO2 can be captured and stored.

Hydrogen can be stored, liquified and transported via pipelines, trucks or ships. And it can be used to make fertiliser, fuel vehicles, heat homes, generate electricity or drive heavy industry.

Hydrogen is usually considered an energy carrier, like electricity, as it must be produced from a primary energy source.

In a hydrogen economy, hydrogen would be used in place of fossil fuels, which currently provide four-fifths of the world’s energy supply and emit the bulk of global greenhouse gas emissions. This could aid climate goals because hydrogen only emits water when burned and can be made without releasing CO2.

What is blue hydrogen?

Blue hydrogen is when natural gas is split into hydrogen and CO2 either by Steam Methane Reforming (SMR) or Auto Thermal Reforming (ATR), but the CO2 is captured and then stored. As the greenhouse gasses are captured, this mitigates the environmental impacts on the planet. Simply put, hydrogen is considered blue when the emissions generated from the steam process are captured and stored underground via industrial carbon capture and storage (CSS).

What is brown/black hydrogen?

Brown hydrogen is produced from fossil fuels and currently accounts for around 95 per cent of global production. The oldest way of producing hydrogen is by transforming coal into gas. This gasification process converts fossil-based materials into carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen. Gasification is achieved at incredible high temperatures without combustion, with a controlled amount of oxygen and/or steam. The carbon monoxide then reacts with water to form carbon dioxide and more hydrogen via a water-gas shift reaction.

Generated via coal gasification syngas and hydrogen can be separated from the other elements using absorbers. It is the result of a highly polluting process since both CO2 and carbon monoxide cannot be reused and are released in the atmosphere.

What is Pink hydrogen?

Hydrogen obtained from electrolysis through nuclear energy is coloured pink.

Hydrogen from Biomass

Hydrogen can also be produced from Biomass via gasification. Depending on the type of biomass but also on the use of carbon capture and storage technologies net carbon emissions can be lower using these technologies

What is green hydrogen?

Green hydrogen is produced using electricity generated from renewables such as solar energy, biomass, electricity (e.g., in the form of solar PV or via wind turbines), instead of fossil fuels. And currently accounts for 1% of overall hydrogen production.

Green hydrogen has the potential to provide clean power for manufacturing, transportation, and more — and its only by-product is water. With green hydrogen, zero carbon emissions are produced. It is in essence the gold standard of hydrogen in the clean energy sector.

Why is green hydrogen a big deal?

Green hydrogen is one of several potential low-carbon fuels that could take the place of today’s fossil hydrocarbons. Admittedly, hydrogen is far from ideal as a fuel. Its low density makes it hard to store and move around. And its flammability can be a problem.

However, the case for hydrogen is clear; the UK requires a zero-emission fuel that is well understood, has extensive regulations and standards in place, is readily scalable and which can be used across multiple energy vectors. Hydrogen is that fuel. In the next decade alone, research by the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking  (FCH JU) indicates that hydrogen could reduce CO2 emissions by 1.7 million to 6.3 million tonnes by 2030, supporting the further deployment of 1,800 MW to 9 GW of wind and 830 MW to 4 GW of solar.

There are major technical and economic hurdles to meeting the UK’s Net Zero goals without hydrogen, particularly for heating and transport applications

The country’s gas grid supplies 3x more energy than the electricity grid today, and the transport sector accounted for over 1/3rd of final energy consumption in 2019. While there is significant renewable power generation potential in the UK, notably from offshore wind, electrifying all heating and transport is likely to be an unsurmountable challenge by 2050. Mass electrification would require and overhaul of the current energy system, and massive scale up of batteries, improved transmission systems and smart metering. Alternatively, hydrogen can be integrated into current energy distribution and end-use systems, and utilize high renewables potential in the UK by converting green electrons into green molecules, that can be widely transported and stored seasonally. Mechanisms to store significant volumes of energy are important for coping with extreme environmental events.

Hydrogen is already widely used by industry, so technical problems to storage and transport are not insurmountable. The opportunity for green hydrogen to be applied across a wide range of sectors means there is a large number of companies looking at harnessing and benefiting from a hydrogen fuel economy. The most significant of these are the oil and gas firms (who are increasingly facing the calls to cut back on fossil fuel production). Big oil’s interest in green hydrogen could be critical in getting the fuel through to commercial viability. Cutting the cost of green hydrogen production will require massive investment and massive scale, something the oil majors are uniquely positioned to provide.

Green hydrogen projects and pathways 

Hydrogen offers a pathway to revitalise manufacturing capabilities in the UK and improve the skill base for workers. The UK was a leader in discovering hydrogen and creating fuel cells, and today has several world leading manufacturers and supply chain businesses that with the right support could become global leaders and engines of economic growth for the UK economy. Using hydrogen, the UK could also become a global Centre of Excellence for hydrogen mobility and transport across land, maritime and aviation sectors.

  • A recent report published by Powersystems highlights that hydrogen produced with renewable electricity could compete on costs with fossil fuel alternatives by 2030
  • UK regions are taking steps to capture the scale of the hydrogen opportunity. Scotland has pro-actively driven hydrogen investment and support for regional initiatives, including the BIG HIT project in the Orkneys, this multi-partner plan involves the Port of Cromarty Firth together with SHFCA members ScottishPower (ScottishPower has created a new business division dedicated to delivering green hydrogen) and Pale Blue Dot, as well as other partners including Scotch whisky producers Glenmorangie, Whyte and Mackay and Diageo. This new green hydrogen hub in the Highlands will see Scotland leading the way for the integration and deployment of hydrogen technology and decarbonisation of local industry.
  • The H100 Fife project is designed to be a real life test of the use of hydrogen for heating homes. The idea is to build a facility in Levenmouth, Fife, that will use offshore wind power to generate hydrogen from electrolysers.
  • In Wales, the government has recently launched a consultation on developing the hydrogen energy sector in Wales
  • Across the country, local businesses in East Anglia are partnering with LEPs and local councils to assess opportunities to leverage the region’s rich offshore wind experience to accelerate the hydrogen transition.
  • Announced in February and March 2021, The National Grid currently has two UK Projects underway; FutureGrid, which is trialling hydrogen mixes in off-grid pipelines and Project Union, which is exploring the development of a UK hydrogen ‘backbone’ joining together industrial clusters around the country.
  • Equinor and SSE Thermal have unveiled plans to develop a 100% hydrogen-fuelled power station in the UK’s Humber region – and it’s believed to be a world first.
  • Powersystems recently reported on the global race to produce hydrogen offshore. Wind generation reached its highest ever level, at 17.2GW on 18 December 2020, while wind power achieved its biggest share of UK electricity production, at 60% on 26 August 2020. Yet occasionally the huge offshore wind farms pump out far more electricity than the UK needs. What if you could use wind energy to make hydrogen?
Is the UK late to the green hydrogen party?

Given that on the 8 July 2020, the road map was unveiled by the European Union to promote green hydrogen “as a key priority to achieve the European Green deal and Europe’s clean energy transition.” It is seen as a technology which can bridge the gap between electricity production from renewable energy and the goal of decarbonising a large share of the EU’s energy.

Similar policy developments are underway in the likes of Australia, Canada, Japan, Netherlands, Germany, France, Portugal and the US – the pressure is on ministers to ensure that the UK makes early preparations to become a competitive exporter in the sector.

Presently we can only look at promises made as part of the Ten Point plan for a green industrial revolution announced in November 2020. The UK Government expects that driving the growth of low carbonhydrogen could deliver over GBP 4 billion of private investment in the period up to 2030. The UK Hydrogen strategy was due in March 2021

  • The Nuclear Industry Council (NIC) and Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) published a roadmap outlining how the UK could co-locate electrolysis at 12-13GW of nuclear reactors. This commitment could enable the production of 75 TWh of green hydrogen by 2050, the bodies claim
  • The UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, has also published a roadmap this month, detailing a potential trajectory for the sector through to 2050. The roadmap has been backed by business giants including Rolls Royce and ITM Power and explores how the UK could target 80GW of green hydrogen capacity by 2050.
  • Powersystems recently shared on what we need to know about hydrogen on climate change and decarbonisation in the UK ahead of COP26 In November 2021
What about hydrogen vehicles?

Alongside oil and gas firms, renewable developers see green hydrogen as an emerging market, with offshore wind leader Ørsted last month trumpeting the first major project to exclusively target the transport sector in Denmark. The eye-catching Toyota Mirai helped fuel early hopes that hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles might vie with electric cars to take over from the internal combustion engine. But as the EV market has boomed, the prospect of hydrogen being a serious contender has faded from view, at least in the passenger vehicle segment.There are roughly 18,000 hydrogen fuel-cell cars in the world today and 31,000 forklifts, compared to more than 373,600 plug-in electrics up to December 2020.That said, pundits still expect hydrogen to play a role in decarbonizing some vehicle segments, with forklifts and heavy-duty trucks among the most likely to benefit.

  • Powersystems looks at the most ambitious shake-up in the bus sector in a generation. The 5-year new funding investment aims to deliver 4,000 new British-built electric/hydrogen buses to provide clean, quiet, zero-emission travel
  • The NHS outlined plans to trial hydrogen-powered ambulances in London later this year. The organisation is sourcing retrofitted hydrogen combustion technology from ULEMCo and pairing it with battery technology from Promech Technologies
  • Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) updated its business strategy to fully electrify Jaguar models by 2025, with another ambition to begin testing hydrogen fuel cell electric prototypes in the UK this year
  • Toyota, Daimler and BMW are leading a group of 13 companies across the world, investing $10 billion over the next decade in developing hydrogen technology and infrastructure. Government investment also has a role to play
  • Bath Area Trams Association (BATA) has announced that it is in detailed discussions with American transportation system manufacturer TIG/m and consultants TenBroeke Engineering for a wire-free hydrogen tram project
  • Powersystems reports on Hydrogen or electric vehicles? Why the answer is probably both – The distinct virtues of the two main emerging types of greener transport mean both are likely to flourish, depending on the requirements of different types of user
  • In Northern Ireland, the first three hydrogen fuel cell double decker busses entered service on Northern Ireland a further 142 buses to come.
  • In the North East – Teeside, which produces most of the UK’s current hydrogen, a hydrogen transport Centre of Excellence is being set up and funded by the government, with local leaders having even wider hydrogen economy aspirations
  • The Government has announced £30m of investment in EV and hydrogen technology to help launch studies into the creation of a UK lithium supply chain, improvements in battery safety and the re-use of car batteries. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) revealed the plans, which include a project to extract lithium from hard rock in Cornwall as well as studies into hydrogen storage and the development of solid-state batteries.
Leading sector for UK job creation

Green hydrogen has the potential to become a leading sector in the UK for job creation and exports.

The UK is currently a global leader in the manufacture and design of hydrogen electrolysis systems, with decades of expertise in hydrogen storage, transportation, and combustion technologies. These include the world’s first PEM electrolysis Gigafactory built by ITM Power, membrane free electrolysers developed by CPH2, and high resiliency electrolysers built for the UK & French nuclear fleets by TP Group.

Other emerging technologies Include Solid Oxide Electrolysers currently under development by CERES Power and HiiROC’s plasma process technology.

74,000 jobs could be created from a commitment to hydrogen by the government and supported by appropriate measures

Supporting these highly specialised businesses and other innovative technology companies require highly skilled workers creating thousands of well-paid manufacturing jobs across the UK will provide a competitive advantage towards an emerging global market demand.

Longer-term private sector vision

These new projects may seem small in comparison to the UK’s broader transport, industrial and heat sectors. But it is clear that there is strong private sector support for longer-term, overarching initiatives that deliver an ongoing transition beyond initial pilots.

  • The Green Hydrogen Catapult, for example, has convened seven big businesses under a shared mission to increase the world’s green hydrogen production fifty-fold by 2026 – in a move they claim will halve costs
  • Business members of the Catapult include Iberdrola, Ørsted, ACWA Power, CWP Renewables, Envision, Yara, and Snam
  • Away from the private sector, non-profit the Rocky Mountain Institute will provide support alongside the UN’s pre-COP26 ‘Race to Zero’

£320 billion could be generated by the Hydrogen industry for the UK economy

  • Similarly, trade bodies including WindEurope and SolarPowerEurope received backing from Bill-Gates-backed Breakthrough Energy last year to form the Renewable Hydrogen Coalition
  • And, while the Catapult is global and the Coalition covers all of Europe, the UK does play host to its own Hydrogen Taskforce, which includes the likes of Shell and BP

The Hydrogen Taskforce is a coalition of the hydrogen industry’s largest organisations that operate in and innovate across this sector. Its aim is to secure the role of hydrogen in the future energy mix.

The Hydrogen Taskforce is committed to working with Government to secure tangible support to aid the creation of infrastructure and delivery frameworks, helping the government to deliver on its promises to level up the regions and its Net Zero by 2050 commitments.

The Hydrogen Taskforce aims to enable the UK to become a world leader in the international application and service of hydrogen, to deliver excellence throughout the supply chain and create a globally attractive export.

All in all, it would seem that all of the ingredients are ready for the UK to begin dramatically decarbonising and scaling up its hydrogen sector. Over the coming weeks, all eyes will be on BEIS, pushing it to bring the Hydrogen Strategy to the table and understand the actions we now need to take as part of the Rollout plan for a UK hydrogen economy.


Powering your electric bus fleet with Powersystems

Powering your electric bus fleet with Powersystems

Powersystems look at the most ambitious shake-up in the bus sector in a generation – as operators, councils and government find ways to power greener bus journeys as well as greener funding initiatives as part of the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan for a Greener Industrial Revolution announced in November 2020.

The Prime Minister set out a new vision to level up local transport connections throughout the country, making every day journeys easier, greener and more convenient.

New bus strategy announced to reform the sector

Following the launch of the £3 billion green bus strategy this month, which has been described as the most ambitious shake-up of the bus sector in a generation.

The 5-year new funding investment sees passengers benefit from an overall greatly improved service, as well as an aim to deliver 4,000 new British-built electric/hydrogen buses to provide clean, quiet, zero-emission travel. And transition cities and regions across England to emission-free buses.

Further details of programmes will be announced in the upcoming National Bus strategy to be published later this year at the Comprehensive Spending Review, and follows the allocation of £170 million to support more electric buses, increase rural mobility and trial new ‘Superbus’ services. Read more about the changes.

Coventry at the heart of electric bus revolution        

After winning a National bid, plans have been announced for Coventry to become the UK’s first all-electric bus city backed by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA). A £50 Million funding tranche will be handed over to the region by the Department for Transport (DfT).

19 Applicants for the bid were required to outline existing plans to reduce green house gases, and demonstrate how they would tackle further air quality problems.

Working with bus operators Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), which is part of the WMCA, will install charging infrastructure as well as replace the entire fleet of buses on the roads and bus lanes of Coventry. This will also include pantograph overhead charging points which will be available to all bus operators.

This new clean electric bus fleet will improve public transport as well as drive a further step change towards tackling climate emergency as well as Coventry’s range of schemes to exceed overall pollution targets, these combinations will have a dramatically positive affect on air quality, emissions and further support the reduction in noise pollution.

As we build back greener across the UK, the Government has committed to decarbonise the transport network, with an aim to achieving net zero by 2050.

A further 25% of the added costs of electric vehicles over diesel, and charging infrastructure will be funded by local bus operators, Coventry Council and Warwickshire Council.  Alongside stakeholders TfWM in partnership will lead the project.

Further £65m funding set for air quality, electric vehicles and nature restoration

The government has announced (9 March) the £40m second round of its Green Recovery Challenge Fund, alongside further funding for air quality projects and electric vehicle innovations.

As the UK Government plans to phase out the sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2030. The Department for Transport has announced a further £20 Million for the Office for Zero Emissions vehicles Transitioning to Zero Emission Vehicles competition and a further £2m for support smaller companies working on emerging zero-emission vehicle technologies, through the Niche Vehicle Network.

Previous winners of such funding have included a prototype zero emissions ambulance that can hit 145km per hour and a recharging system that emerges from the pavement, avoiding the risks of cables trailing from homes.

 Thinking about a new electric bus project and your depot conversion?

Powersystems advise – The first job is to secure grid capacity for your electric vehicle, bus, van or fleet project, this is of paramount importance, even before proceeding with vehicle procurement.

The transformation from diesel buses to all electric can be a complicated process for a garage infrastructure and failure to secure grid capacity can lead operators to the exposure of potentially high and in some cases up to six figure connection costs.

These are exciting time as we play our part in helping you to build back better and power your fleet to a green economy.

Read our guide to grid connection for bus and fleet electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure.



Prime Minister launches £3 billion green bus revolution

Prime Minister launches £3 billion green bus revolution

  • government publishes major new bus strategy, outlining most ambitious reform to the sector in a generation
  • buses will be more frequent, cheaper, greener, and easier to use as government continues its levelling up agenda
  • councils and operators will work in partnership for the benefit of passengers

Prime Minister Boris Johnson today (15 March 2021) unveils the most ambitious shake-up of the bus sector in a generation, which will see lower, simpler flat fares in towns and cities, turn-up-and-go services on main routes, and new flexible services to reconnect communities.

The government’s new bus strategy, backed by £3 billion of investment, will see passengers across England benefiting from more frequent, more reliable, easier to use and understand, better coordinated and cheaper bus services.

Levelling up services across the country will encourage more people to use the bus, rather than the car, as we build back better from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The changes include:

  • simpler bus fares with daily price caps, so people can use the bus as many times a day as they need without facing mounting costs
  • more services in the evenings and at the weekends
  • integrated services and ticketing across all transport modes, so people can easily move from bus to train
  • all buses to accept contactless payments

Hundreds of miles of new bus lanes will make journeys quicker and more reliable, getting people out of their cars, reducing pollution and operating costs.

The Prime Minister’s ten point plan sets out how we will accelerate the transition to greener and more sustainable transport.

We will:

  • deliver 4,000 new British-built electric or hydrogen buses will provide clean, quiet, zero-emission travel
  • transition cities and regions across England to emission-free buses, safeguarding the UK bus manufacturing industry
  • end sales of new diesel buses, and we have launched a consultation on the end date today.

We expect to see local authorities and operators working together to deliver bus services that are so frequent that passengers can just ‘turn up and go’ – no longer needing to rely on a traditional timetable and having the confidence they won’t wait more than a few minutes.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

Buses are lifelines and liberators, connecting people to jobs they couldn’t otherwise take, driving pensioners and young people to see their friends, sustaining town centres and protecting the environment.

As we build back from the pandemic, better buses will be one of our first acts of levelling-up.

Just as they did in London, our reforms will make buses the transport of choice, reducing the number of car journeys and improving quality of life for millions.

The fragmented, fully commercialised market, which has operated outside London since 1986 will end. We want to see operators and local councils enter into a statutory “enhanced partnership” or franchising agreements to receive the new funding and deliver the improvements.

It is expected that many councils will choose enhanced partnerships, where local authorities work closely with bus companies, drawing on their operating knowledge and marketing skills. Others may decide that franchising works better for them.

Because of the decline in use caused by the pandemic, bus operators have already received significant emergency support from the government. From this summer, only services under these arrangements will be eligible for continued support or any new sources of funding from the £3 billion transformational investment. The government will also consult later this year on reforming the Bus Service Operators Grant – the current main stream of government bus funding – to achieve the same objectives.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, said:

Buses are this country’s favourite way of getting around. They help us get to school, to the GP, or to the shops – but services across England are patchy, and it’s frankly not good enough.

The quality of bus service you receive shouldn’t be dependent on where you live. Everyone deserves to have access to cheap, reliable and quick bus journeys.

The strategy we’re unveiling today will completely overhaul services, ensuring we build back better from the pandemic. Key to it is the new deal it offers to councils – we will provide unprecedented funding, but we need councils to work closely with operators, and the government, to develop the services of the future.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said:

Buses are the backbone of public transport in the West Midlands, carrying more than 250 million people every year. Today’s strategy is therefore very welcome, and will enable big city regions such as ours to ensure buses remain at the heart of our future transport plans. Residents here want clean, decarbonised buses that are affordable and continue to remain reliable and punctual, and that’s what the new strategy laid out today will deliver.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of independent watchdog Transport Focus, said:

For bus passengers, today’s announcement of more frequent buses and simpler fares will be welcome news. For many, buses are a lifeline to employment, education, medical appointments and leisure, and are essential to the economy. We know that the key priorities for those considering using the bus are more services running more reliably, providing better value.

Since the pandemic, safety and cleanliness have become ever more important. We will work with bus operators and other partners to make sure passengers’ needs are at the heart of new arrangements.

It also sets out ambitions to provide greater access to bus services for all, with plans revealed to require ‘next stop’ announcements onboard buses throughout Great Britain, helping disabled passengers and others to travel with confidence. The government will also launch a consultation on new regulations to improve access onboard buses for wheelchair users.

London-style services aren’t appropriate for all rural and suburban areas, which is why the Department for Transport is today also announcing the recipients of the £20 million from the government’s ‘Rural mobility fund’, which enables on-demand services – such as minibuses booked via an app – to be trialled in areas where a traditional bus service isn’t appropriate.

Powersystems celebrate 24 years as an ICP, accredited for 132 kV work by the National Electricity Registration Scheme

Powersystems celebrate 24 years as an ICP, accredited for 132 kV work by the National Electricity Registration Scheme

24 years ago this year Powersystems became the first fully accredited Independent Connection Provider (ICP) in the UK, under what was then called the Accredited Contractor Scheme; under OFGEM’s ‘Competition in Connections’ and now commonly known as the National Electricity Registration Scheme (NERS).

This scheme is operated by Lloyds Register on behalf of the UK Distribution Network Operators (DNOs).

The NERS accreditation lists both the location coverage and the scope of works an ICP can carry out at the different voltages.

Accredited up to 132 kV, Powersystems high voltage electrical engineering company specialise in grid and network connections and contestable works, offering an alternative to using the local Distribution Network Operators.

For 44 years Powersystems, who started trading in 1977, have continued to build long term relationships with clients to provide the optimal engineering solution.

Still ground-breaking in 2021, Powersystems lead the way on some of the UK’s first of its kind electrical contracts like; the first greener grid park project in Moray, Scotland. The project, located near the Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks transmission substation at Keith, will include two large rotating stabilisers designed to provide stable flows of energy through the grid network, helping to increase the amount of renewable energy transmitted on the system and prevent power blackouts. As well  Powersystems are also providing the electrical cable installation works contract for the  world’s largest offshore wind farm Dogger Bank, under construction today.

It is with thanks to our in-house expertise, we provide a trusted point of contact throughout the project lifecycle, which helps to minimise the risk of schedule delays and helps us to maintain project quality, whilst delivering a safe and sustainable solution.

We can assume responsibility for the following elements of a project.

  • Design of a connection from the ‘Point of Connection’ (POC) to the site
  • Supply of all cables, switchgear, and transformers required to make the connection
  • Civil engineering works including excavation of the connection route, cable laying from the POC to the site, the installation of concrete bases for substations and other electrical equipment.
  • Construction and installation of electricity substations
  • Commissioning of the installed connection assets
  • Full project management of all works
  • Full project hand back including as-built records (OEM) for all connected assets

Because we specialise in both high and low voltage distribution systems, we can include the following within our infrastructure works:

Electrical design of Distribution Networks covering:

  • HV cable networks (11 kV, 33kV, 66kV, 132kV)
  • Substation installation (11kV, 33kV, 66kV, 132kV)
  • Overhead wooden pole (11kV, 33kV)
  • Cable jointing (LV, 11kV, 33kV, 66kV, 132kV-PM)
  • Cable laying (LV, 11kV, 33kV, 66kV, 132kV)
  • Civil works
  • Substation installation (11kV, 33kV, 66kV, 132kV)


To speak with Powersystems, please contact us by...


01454 318000



Request a call back

Powersystems UK Delivering Greener Power Solutions

Powersystems supports Isle of Wight anaerobic digestion plant

Powersystems supports Isle of Wight anaerobic digestion plant

Powersystems, have completed the commissioning of a private wire to supply renewable electricity between Black Dog Biogas, the owner of an anaerobic digestion plant near Newport on the Isle of Wight to Vestas’ neighbouring wind blade manufacturing facility.

This follows on from Powersystems original involvement in 2016 where they delivered both the grid connection and electrical balance of plant on what was the first Active Network Management (ANM) system to be carried out on SSEN network on the Isle of White.

Powersystems installed the high voltage (HV)  infrastructure at both Black Dog Biogas and Vestas to allow for the interconnection of their 11kV Networks.

Darren Sampson, Project Manager at Powersystems said,

“Powersystems installed, tested and commissioned a Schneider Genie Evo Panel as an extension to Vestas existing infrastructure to enable generated power to be exported from the Black Dog Site.  New high voltage switch gear was installed at the Black Dog site, with motor control to allow Vestas to benefit from either green energy or alternatively via their existing metered connection when the site is under maintenance.

The system is monitored and operated automatically via an Argand Solutions panel which monitors the HV network across both sites.

When the Vestas site has a low demand for energy , the bio gas  plant is able to automatically move their export position to enable them to power directly top the grid.  The changeover over supplies are only anticipated during times that the Vestas  sites is powered down for an annual maintenance. The system is therefore configured to ensure that all other times Vestas will be powered 24/7 by green energy, thus reducing their carbon footprint.

Led by Black Dog Biogas and its manager Earth Capital, the initiative will supply low-carbon electricity to Vestas’ facility. Vestas will use this renewable electricity to manufacture offshore wind turbine blades that will generate low carbon power in wind farms. The project is the first-of-its-kind on the Isle of Wight.

Black Dog Biogas generates sufficient power to supply around 80% of Vestas’ needs, as well as around 1,200 homes on the Isle of Wight.

The anaerobic digestion plant
The Company’s biogas generates renewable electricity through anaerobic digestion, where organic matter, such as maize and grass, in this case 100% sourced from the Isle of Wight, are broken down by enzymes to produce biogas and biofertiliser.

Black Dog uses the biogas as a fuel in two combined-heat-and-power units to generate renewable heat and electricity. The nutrient-rich biofertiliser is spread back onto arable farmland on the Isle of Wight, helping to grow more crops for the Black Dog facility and promoting sustainable agricultural practices.

This helps support a circular economy and avoids the use of carbon intensive fertilisers on the Island.

James Luter, Senior Factory Director at Vestas’ Isle of Wight facility said,

“Our plant on the Isle of Wight is strategically important to our growing offshore business. The UK is a world leader in offshore wind and the Government has unveiled ambitious plans to expand capacity further, a vision we wholeheartedly support.

“We’re pleased that we can contribute to a more sustainable future, by now using renewable energy from Black Dog to manufacture our blades.”

Dr Simon Crook, Director of Black Dog and Investment Director of Earth Capital said,

“This is a great opportunity for two neighbouring green businesses to deliver a scheme that both makes environmental and commercial sense. We could not have wished for a better partner with which to deliver this project.

“Collaborations such as this are vital in helping the UK reduce carbon emissions and embrace renewable energy. Biogas is an important part of the low-carbon energy mix and it has the potential to reduce waste to landfill by converting household food waste into energy as well.”

Earth Capital, the manager of Black Dog Biogas, is invested in the project through the firm’s Nobel Sustainability Fund®, a multi-phase, multi-geography fund, which invests across the sustainable and impact private markets, accelerating companies for growth, expansion, and subsequent acquisition.

Harnessing the Green Industrial Revolution
 Last year the UK Government announced a Ten Point Plan to mobilise government investment and to drive job creation to harness the Green Industrial Revolution.

Advancing offshore wind was recognised as a priority within the Ten Point Plan, with the UK setting an ambitious target of quadrupling the country’s offshore wind capacity by 2030.

To speak with Powersystems, please contact us by...


01454 318000



Request a call back

Powersystems UK Delivering Greener Power Solutions

Texas was a cascade failure of energy infrastructure, not renewables

Texas was a cascade failure of energy infrastructure, not renewables

What we have witnessed in Texas was a cascade failure of energy infrastructure.

The storms tripped an increased demand while power plants were undergoing routine maintenance, which was made worse by insufficient regulatory oversight meaning Texan authorities didn’t require energy assets to be resilient enough for winter.

Suddenly, there were issues with water, food, heat and health for millions of people. It isn’t just Texas. Places around the world, including the UK and California, have seen unusual grid instability.

Blame has been foisted onto Texas’ renewables, but the primary driver of the crisis was the loss of nearly 30 gigawatt-hours of gas, coal and nuclear generation in the state. The global push towards renewable energy has highlighted problems with ageing grid networks, but it also offers a solution.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions requires widespread use of renewable sources, mainly wind and solar. But these cannot be controlled like so-called dispatchable sources such as natural gas and nuclear power.

After all, we aren’t in charge of when the sun shines or the wind blows. The result is that renewable energy produces more energy than is needed sometimes and not enough at others. For example, during 2020 over 1,500 gigawatt-hours – enough to power 250,000 homes for a year – of renewable electricity production went unused in California. In the UK, there was more wind energy available than could be used on 75 per cent of days last year.

As we saw in Texas, grid instability, combined with extreme weather events, can have a shocking knock-on effect.

This story has been playing out in Oxford, where a consortium of partners, including Invinity, are supporting the development of the Energy Superhub Oxford. It’s an ambitious project aiming to decarbonise transport and residential heating, which means a large-scale transition from fuel to electricity.

Storage comes in to play to address the inevitable stress on the electric network when everyone charges their car at the same time or turns up the heating on a cold morning, or, as in the case of Texas, when temperatures unexpectedly plummet. It effectively creates a fail-safe for the grid, to ensure there is always a constant supply of energy.

The Energy Superhub Oxford Project is home to the largest hybrid energy storage system of its kind. It combines lithium-ion batteries, which we are all familiar with, and “flow” batteries. Both are connected to the national grid.

Lithium-ion batteries work well with the grid when they are not used heavily, day in and day out. Think of old cell phones, you run the battery down all day and then charge it up all night, this sort of heavy use eventually degrades the capacity to a point where it is unusable.

A decarbonised global energy system will rely on a plethora of energy storage. The Texas crisis made that abundantly clear. Lithium-ion, hydrogen and flow will all have a part to play, applied where each is best suited.

It was recently estimated that the UK will require up to 30 gigawatt hours (30,000 MWh) of energy storage to meet net-zero targets. This is the equivalent of over 500 Energy Superhub Oxford projects and can only be addressed with the entire spectrum of storage technologies working in concert or independently as the use demands.

Addressing the climate crisis is an unprecedented opportunity for energy storage. But even more important is the opportunity to build a net-zero energy structure that is robust and resilient. That is a goal we can all work toward.

To speak with Powersystems, please contact us by...


01454 318000



Request a call back

Powersystems UK Delivering Greener Power Solutions

Pin It on Pinterest