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.
A Labour government would invest in a £3.5bn tidal power project on Merseyside, leader Jeremy Corbyn has said. Making the announcement on a visit to Liverpool, Mr Corbyn said it would tackle the north-south divide and address climate change. The party said the project would be funded out of existing commitments set out in their 2017 manifesto. The BBC has approached the government for a comment on the project’s funding. Plans for a tidal project, put on hold in 2011, were revived by Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram in 2017. Mr Corbyn said the project would “kick-start Labour’s green industrial revolution”.
Council-owned energy supplier Bristol Energy has inked deals to directly take 3.55MW of power generated by two onshore wind farms in Suffolk and Aberdeenshire, in a move expected to benefit thousands of local households. The power purchase agreements (PPAs) with Thrive Renewables were announced yesterday and will provide enough electricity to power up to 3,000 Bristol households, while also helping the council edge closer to its target to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.