A council-owned solar farm has smashed generation targets in its third year of operation, taking its overall income to £4 million. The 12.4MW solar farm at Toggam Farm in Lakenheath generated 12,631MWh of electricity in the past year, surpassing its target of 11,591MWh. This saw West Suffolk Council receive an income of £1.5 million from the farm, £100,000 more than expected. The income – its highest from the farm – came from a combination of selling electricity to the grid and income from Renewable Obligation Certificates.
The Western Isles and Skye are to be used for a pilot project aiming to make a fundamental change in how electricity is distributed in Scotland. Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) is planning to use local generators on the islands as part of the “modern electricity grid of the future”. SSEN is working with smart energy software Piclo, a platform designed by Open Utility. Open Utility announced nearly half a million in funding from Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) department’s Energy Entrepreneur fund to develop it new online marketplace in 2017. The plans will look to move away from using power from dirty diesel generators during maintenance or a fault and switch to cleaner wind or hydro power. SSEN will also look to involve a number of local businesses in the project. If successful, it could mean cheaper energy bills for customers as SSE pay local generators to export during times of need. The energy distribution will be managed by Open Utility’s peer-to-peer energy flexibility platform. SSEN says the initiative in the Western Isles and Skye will be a significant step in developing the flexible network of the future.
The Wensleydale Creamery makes one of England’s best-loved varieties of cheese, but it also produces waste. Now, the bi-products are being put to use creating biogas – the latest evidence of the growing role of cheese in green energy production.
Northumberland County Council has announced plans to install a high-tech solar farm at the back of its County Hall in Morpeth. The scheme will also see 60 new electric vehicle (EV) charging points installed in the structure of the solar farm, which will be suspended above the hall’s car parking spaces. The £2.3m scheme will be half-funded via a European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) grant, while the council will cover the other 50%. The cost of the scheme is eventually expected to be covered by the savings it will generate for the council’s energy costs.
A COUNCIL has scooped a top gong at a national awards ceremony for its commitment to solar power. Portsmouth City Council topped the list at the national Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (Adept) president’s awards. It came following work by the city authority to assist neighbours West Sussex County Council in delivering a major solar panel scheme. The huge initiative, known as the Solar Power for Schools Programme, saw dozens of schools across Sussex being fitted with the cash-saving devices.
Wokingham Borough Council has become the latest to embrace solar, pledging school installs during the next academic year. Solar is to be installed on schools, libraries, leisure centres and other council-owned buildings, supporting Wokingham Borough Council’s goal of being carbon neutral by 2030. The announcement comes after it recently joined the ranks of councils – as well as central government – in declaring a climate emergency.
The railway station in the town of Aldershot, in southern England’s Hampshire county, now hosts a 30 kW solar plant. The project, which is the first of its kind, serves as a traction current provider for the U.K. railway system. U.K.-based climate change charity 10:10 developed the Riding Sunbeams’ “First Light” demonstrator solar array in partnership with Community Energy South and national rail infrastructure operator Network Rail. The project should be connected to the railway within the next two weeks, according to Leo Murray, director of innovation at 10:10.
There is enough grass in Britain to power every household if it were turned into renewable gas, according to Dale Vince, the founder of green energy company Ecotricity, The Stroud-based businessman said that Ecotricity plans to build its first grass-powered energy plant in Hampshire by the end of this year in a move to eliminate the demand for industrial farming waste. The project, which will cost Ecotricity £15m, is primed to be the first major investment by a UK company into this type of energy. “It is relatively new, we can basically make gas and put it into the gas grid in the same way that we can with electricity from renewables,” Mr Vince said.
Centrica is leading the way in delivering new technologies and approaches that will transform the role of the energy supplier and how we all use and interact with energy. The Cornwall Local Energy Market trial offers a glimpse into the future of a truly decentralised energy landscape with thousands, if not millions, of homes and businesses playing their part in regional energy markets. This is the first project in the world which explores how decentralised flexible assets can work together in an efficient local energy system that meets the needs of generators, customers and networks alike – responding to price signals from the market in order to reduce the strain on the grid at peak times and maximise the productivity of low carbon generation assets. As part of the trial Centrica is installing solar panels and battery storage units in 100 homes across the county, and making that stored energy available to the market as a single source of flexibility – the largest ‘virtual power plant’ of its kind in the UK.
An innovative plan to use hydrogen produced at island wind farms to power the ferry network has been announced by Point and Sandwick Trust. Yesterday, the trust published a feasibility study to assess the suitability of using hydrogen produced from local wind farms to power future ferry services operating in the Western Isles. The project looked at the practical and economic feasibility of using new island wind farms to produce zero-carbon “green” hydrogen fuel for future types of clean emission ferries operating on the established Caledonian MacBrayne routes.