The Latest Sustainable Energy News from Low Carbon

Understanding honey bee behaviour

Warren Bader from Plan Bee shares his expertise and insight on honey bee behaviour and their critical role in the food chain

Understanding honey bee behaviour is crucial. Seventy-five per cent of food crops are dependent on animal pollination but, globally, we are facing a pollinator crisis due to a perfect storm of habitat loss, intensive agriculture, climate change, pests and disease. A big problem for honey bees is lack of suitable habitat for foraging brought about by the loss of hedgerows, woodland and meadows rich in plant species.

Spring is a crucial time for honey bees. Over winter, they will use up all their stores of honey. As winter progresses, they will start to produce brood and, as soon as the sun comes out in early spring, they need to gather nectar and pollen to replenish their stores. The protein from the pollen is used as food for the brood so it is vital that they have a wide variety of flowers available.

Investigation on which plants the honey bees used most during the spring. Results show that they rely on hedgerow and woodland species such as willow, hawthorn,  and dandelion for most of their diet.

The main conclusion is that, during the spring, honey bees mostly use native hedgerow and woodland plants which means we must conserve these habitats.

The plants the honey bees used most abundantly are nearly all native plants (and their relatives) mostly found in hedgerows and woodlands.

Top 10 spring flowers foraged by honey bees for nectar and pollen

  • Willow (Salix species)
  • Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna)
  • Cotoneaster (e.g Cotoneaster horizontalis)
  • Apple and cherry trees (Malus and Prunus species)
  • Gorse (Ulex europaeus)
  • Sycamore and other Acer species
  • Hellebores (Helleborus species)
  • Dandelions (Taraxacum officinale)
  • Holly (Ilex species)
  • Oak (Quercus species)

Top 10 garden plants:

  • Peonies (Paeonia species)
  • Camassia bulbs (Camassia species)
  • Grape hyacinth (Muscari species)
  • Viburnum (Viburnum species)
  • Wallflowers (Erisymum species)
  • Ornamental alliums (Allium species)
  • Skimmia (Skimmia japonica)
  • Anemone  (e.g. Anemone blanda)
  • Roses (species with open flowers like Rosa canina)
  • Flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum)

 

Low Carbon powers up the National Museum of Bermuda with solar installation

23 May 2017. UK-based renewable energy investment company Low Carbon, the official renewable energy partner to Land Rover BAR, has announced the completion of a partnership project to install solar panels at the National Museum of Bermuda, drastically reducing the museum’s carbon emissions.

The solar panel installation was funded through a partnership with Low Carbon, Land Rover BAR and a generous donation from the Stempel Foundation, with installation led by local company BE Solar. The panels will help offset the energy used by Land Rover BAR while competing in Bermuda during this year’s America’s Cup, and will contribute to the team’s efforts to be the world’s most sustainable sports team.

The installation consists of 194 high performance solar panels installed along the museum’s northwest rampart, and is expected to generate more than 93,600kWh of clean energy, save 43 tonnes of CO2 per year, and cut the museum’s electricity bills by up to 20 percent. Solar panels have already been successfully installed by Low Carbon at Land Rover BAR’s base in Portsmouth, enabling the sailing team to save more than 100 tonnes of CO2 across the two projects each year.

The panels installed at the National Museum of Bermuda will completely offset the team’s Bermuda-based energy consumption within two years and will continue providing power to the island for a minimum of 30 years. The site will also be a valuable educational resource for local school children about the importance of renewable energy in building sustainable island communities.

Roy Bedlow, Chief Executive of Low Carbon, said:

“This installation is going to make a fundamental difference to the local community for years to come. We’re delighted to be able to support the museum team, and our partners Land Rover BAR in their efforts to be the world’s most sustainable sports team.“We also shouldn’t underestimate the importance of this legacy project. Land Rover BAR are drawing attention to the importance of sustainability, and showing their commitment to giving back to the communities they’re part of during training and competition. I can only thank and congratulate them for making a difference and for setting an example that we should all look to emulate.”

Martin Whitmarsh, Chief Executive Officer for Land Rover BAR, said:

“When Ben Ainslie Racing was first established, we set ourselves the target of becoming the UK’s most sustainable sports team. This latest installation at the National Museum in Bermuda is further evidence of the steps we’re taking to meet that goal. “Whilst the sailing community will be closely watching the racing in Bermuda over the coming weeks, it’s important that we also leave a positive legacy. The solar panel installation at the National Museum is important in helping to reduce the team’s short term impact, but also for offsetting our carbon footprint and helping to demonstrate how we can build sustainable island communities.”

James Hallett, Chairman of the National Museum of Bermuda, said:

“We’re grateful to Land Rover Bar, Low Carbon and the Stempel Foundation for their generosity. The importance of this installation can’t be underestimated. Not only is it helping to reduce our carbon footprint, and will help educate local young people, it’ll also significantly reduce our energy costs. We expect our electricity bills to fall by 20 percent, and this means we can dedicate more funding to cultural heritage preservation.”

Travis Burland, Sales and Engineering Director for BE Solar, said:

“The BE Solar team are delighted to complete Bermuda’s largest ground mounted solar installation. This will provide the National Museum of Bermuda with notable sustainability benefits, both in terms of its carbon footprint reduction and a significant decrease in their energy costs. As a result this project has seriously empowered the ongoing preservation of Bermuda’s cultural heritage. It was a sincere pleasure to work together with Low Carbon, Land Rover BAR, The Stempel Foundation, and The National Museum of Bermuda to develop and complete this fantastic legacy project for our island.”

 

Notes

 

About Low Carbon

Low Carbon is a privately-owned investment company committed to the development and operation of renewable energy power production. Low Carbon invests into both renewable energy developers and projects across a range of renewable energy technologies including solar, wind, anaerobic digestion, combined heat and power, concentrated solar power and energy storage. Low Carbon has a strong management team with a proven track record in the development, construction, financing and management of renewable energy assets. For UK solar alone, Low Carbon has funded and is operating more than 320MW. Low Carbon remains involved in the projects for the long term with a dedicated asset management team that manages assets on balance sheet and for third parties (unlisted and listed).

www.lowcarbon.com

 

About Land Rover BAR

Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) was launched on June 10th, 2014 in the presence of Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge. The team was conceived by four times Olympic gold medallist and 34th America’s Cup winner, Sir Ben Ainslie, with the long-term aim of challenging for Britain and bringing the America’s Cup back home to where it all began in 1851. Ben has developed and will lead a British entry capable of winning the prestigious trophy, something Britain has so far never managed to achieve. Land Rover BAR is a commercial sporting team, with a number of individual private investors alongside corporate partners. The team is made up of some of the best British and international sailors, designers, builders and racing support. Sports teams represent key role models in society. This privileged position is not taken for granted at Land Rover BAR. The team believe our influence should extend far beyond the race course, and have put sustainability at the heart of operations since launching the team with Exclusive Sustainability Partner 11th Hour Racing in 2014. The team have built a new headquarters in the centre of Portsmouth, the 74,000 sq ft. building houses all the team’s activities, and will welcome the public into its Tech Deck education centre. The 1851 Trust is the team’s official charity, and HRH The Duchess of Cambridge is its Royal Patron. Portsmouth will host a second Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series event on 21st-24th July 2016. Almost a quarter of a million spectators enjoyed the action in Portsmouth in 2015, with 25,000 of them taking to the water – more are expected to come back in 2016 to watch the racing and cheer for the home team.

LandRoverBAR.com #BringTheCupHome

http://land-rover-bar.americascup.com/

 

About the National Museum of Bermuda

The National Museum of Bermuda, formerly Bermuda Maritime Museum, is a non-government, not-for-profit Bermuda Registered Charity (No. 136). For four decades the Museum has been a steward of Bermuda’s cultural heritage, championing its preservation through collecting practices, exhibitions, restoration projects, conservation, research, publications, education and archaeology.

nmb.bm

 

About BE Solar

BE Solar is a fourth-generation, 80 year old Bermudian company dedicated to providing the highest quality solar and energy efficiency solutions. BE Solar is focused on making a stronger and more secure Bermuda by supplying homes and businesses with holistic and comprehensive energy solutions. The BE Solar mission is to empower people and businesses to make the smartest investments that save money and strengthen the Bermudian economy.

http://www.besolar.bm

 

 

 

UK electricity supply commences transformation through multi-million pound investment in batteries from VLC Energy

London, UK – 28 February 2017 – VLC Energy today announces the development of two of the UK’s largest energy storage plants, to be connected to the electricity network by year end. The newly created company is a joint venture between Low Carbon, a renewable energy investment company, and VPI Immingham, owner of one of the largest combined heat and power plants in Europe and part of the Vitol Group.  VLC Energy was established to fund early stage energy storage and renewable energy projects in the UK, with the intention of accelerating the development of the UK’s renewable energy market and complementing VPI Immingham’s existing CHP generation capabilities.

The use of batteries will enhance National Grid’s ability to manage surges in supply from renewable energy sources, as well as surges in demand, and ultimately increase the Grid’s capacity to accommodate energy generated from renewables.  They will also be an integral part of building a smarter, cleaner and more flexible energy system for the UK.

The first multi-million pound projects to be developed by VLC Energy include two of the UK’s largest energy storage plants in Cleator in Cumbria and Glassenbury in Kent. The energy storage plants were awarded contracts in National Grid’s Enhanced Frequency Response (EFR) tender process, as well as the Capacity Market Auction for delivery in 2020. The Cleator and Glassenbury sites will have a combined capacity of 50MW accounting for 25% of the total EFR contract capacity awarded by National Grid.

The battery projects will harness the latest Lithium-ion battery technology from LG Chem and sophisticated energy management systems from NEC Energy Solutions, Inc. to provide a vital balancing service to National Grid, with almost instantaneous responses of less than one second to surges in energy supply and demand. This rapid response service will provide significant cost savings to National Grid, with some estimates suggesting as much as £200 million in savings across all EFR contracts, by reducing wasted energy.

Low Carbon, has a proven track record in the development, construction, financing and management of renewable energy assets, and was the only organisation to be awarded two contracts in the National Grid EFR tender process. To date, the UK-based renewable energy investment company has enabled the deployment of more than £400 million into renewable energy projects and has experience with solar photovoltaic, battery storage, wind, combined heat and power, concentrated solar power and anaerobic digestion. The investor has developed enough renewable energy to power more than 100,000 homes and saving more than 143,600 tonnes of CO2 annually.

Russell Hardy, Chairman, VPI Immingham and member of Vitol’s executive committee, added, “We’re pleased to be entering into an exclusive, strategic partnership with Low Carbon that will enable us to grow our investments in alternative energy in the UK. Batteries perfectly complement renewables and gas and together offer a cleaner, more efficient energy future for the UK.” 

Roy Bedlow, Chief Executive, at Low Carbon, said, “Renewable energy is playing an increasingly important role in the UK’s energy mix and as this role expands, the development of energy storage plants will be central to the future success of the UK’s energy network. As a leading player in the renewable energy market, we’re delighted to be partnering with Vitol to accelerate the development of new energy storage and renewable energy projects. Furthermore, by actively building a robust portfolio of renewable energy projects at scale, we are substantively challenging the causes of climate change, while helping to meet the growing demand for renewable energy in the UK.”

-ENDS-

 

About Low Carbon

Low Carbon is a privately owned investment company committed to the development and operation of renewable energy power production. Low Carbon invests into both renewable energy developers and projects across a range of renewable energy technologies including solar, wind, anaerobic digestion, combined heat and power, concentrated solar power and energy storage. Low Carbon has a strong management team with a proven track record in the development, construction, financing and management of renewable energy assets. For UK solar alone, Low Carbon has funded more than 320MW. Low Carbon remains involved in the projects for the long term with a dedicated asset management team that manages assets on balance sheet and for third parties (unlisted and listed).

www.lowcarbon.com

 

About VPI Immingham

VPI Immingham is a combined heat and power (CHP) plant near Immingham, on the South Bank of the river Humber. It is one of the largest CHP plants in Europe, capable of generating 1,240 MW – about 2.5% of UK peak electricity demand and up to 930 tonnes of steam per hour, which is used by nearby oil refineries to turn crude oil into products such as gasoline.
It is part of the Vitol Group, an energy and commodities company.  Vitol’s primary business is the trading and distribution of energy products globally – it trades over 6mbpd of crude oil and products and, at any time, has 200 ships transporting its cargoes.

Vitol’s clients include national oil companies, multinationals, leading industrial and chemical companies and the world’s largest airlines. Founded in Rotterdam in 1966, today Vitol serves clients from some 40 offices worldwide and is invested in energy assets globally including; circa 15.5mm3 of storage across six continents, 390kbpd of refining capacity and Shell-branded downstream businesses in 16 African countries, as well as Australia. Revenues in 2015 were $168 billion.

www.vitol.com

VPI Immingham/Vitol contact:

Andrea Schlaepfer

+44 207 973 4230

acs@vitol.com

 

Low Carbon boosts asset management with Wirsol

Low Carbon Asset Management deal takes investor’s portfolio under management to 226MW

London, UK – 8 February 2017 – Renewable energy investment company, Low Carbon, today announces that it has increased its portfolio of solar assets under management for international solar energy provider Wirsol Energy Ltd (“Wirsol”). The move will mean Wirsol will benefit from increased operational excellence, greater efficiencies and returns for its sites.

The deal takes Low Carbon’s portfolio for Wirsol to 107MW across 19 sites, in addition to 119MW of UK solar parks Low Carbon already manages. Low Carbon will provide the solar energy giant with a comprehensive service including health and safety assessments, financial management as well as on going reporting and tracking to ensure assets perform optimally.

Low Carbon’s highly qualified asset management team will ensure regular technical site visits are made to support product and defect remediation as well as regulatory compliance. Financial management services will include the management, maintenance and upgrading of financial models for the sites to optimise cash flow and forecasting.

Justin Thesiger, Operations Director at Low Carbon, comments, “Our team of asset management professionals brings a wealth of experience in operating and managing solar parks to perform at their very best – both commercially and environmentally. We are looking forward to enhancing our track record with Wirsol with the addition of these sites and continuing to grow out asset management footprint with Wirsol as well as other third-party sites”.

Andy Scullion, Commercial Manager at Wirsol added, “We are pleased to announce the additional 62MW portfolio to come under management with Low Carbon, it is a significant milestone and demonstrates the strong, collaborative relationship that we share. We look forward to building on our operational success alongside Low Carbon, both with the current portfolio and with future projects across the UK and Ireland”.

 

-ENDS-

 

About Low Carbon

Low Carbon is a privately owned investment company committed to the development and operation of renewable energy power production. Low Carbon invests into both renewable energy developers and projects across a range of renewable energy technologies including solar, wind, anaerobic digestion, combined heat and power, concentrated solar power and energy storage. Low Carbon has a strong management team with a proven track record in the development, construction, financing and management of renewable energy assets. For UK solar alone, Low Carbon has funded and is operating more than 320MW. Low Carbon remains involved in the projects for the long term with a dedicated asset management team that manages assets on balance sheet and for third parties (unlisted and listed).

www.lowcarbon.com

 

About WIRCON GmbH:

WIRCON GmbH is a customer focused company in planning, financing, installation and maintenance of renewable power stations of all sizes. WIRCON brings all of these components together smoothly for customers and investors. WIRCON focuses on carefully selected large onshore wind and solar projects together with integrated with energy management and storage solutions. Our market is addressed under the own brands WIRCON and WIRSOL as well as in close collaboration with energy providers looking for de-centralized renewable solutions to enhance their so far commodity based business models. Part of the business is O&M as well as insurance, service and direct marketing and delivery of renewable energy through selected partners.

For additional information visit: www.wircon.eu.

Low Carbon partnership to power National Museum of Bermuda

54.32kW solar installation to support the island’s energy needs following the America’s Cup

London, UK – 1 February 2017 – Low Carbon, the UK-based renewable energy investment company and official renewable energy partner to Land Rover BAR, today announces it will help fund the installation of solar panels at the National Museum of Bermuda (NMB) in the Royal Naval Dockyard. The installation is expected to generate more than 93,600kWh of clean energy per year, contributing to a significant portion of the museum’s energy consumption needs and saving 43 tonnes of CO2 per year.

The project will not only contribute to the local economy but it will leave an important legacy to the museum and island in the ongoing battle to mitigate the negative effects of climate change. An immediate aim of the project will be to help offset the carbon footprint generated by the Land Rover BAR sailing team whilst competing in Bermuda during the America’s Cup 2017. When combined with Low Carbon’s previously connected solar installation at the sailing team’s base in Portsmouth (UK), both solar projects will save more than 100 tonnes of CO2 each year.

The ground mount solar project will be funded by Low Carbon as well as a generous private donation from The Stempel Foundation, long-term supporters of the museum. The solar installation will be made up of 194 high performance SolarWorld bifacial glass-on-glass monocrystalline silicon panels. The chosen solar panels are designed to harness the sunlight from the front and back of the panels and are guaranteed to provide a minimum of 30 years of energy production resulting in 1,220 tonnes of CO2 not being released into the atmosphere.

The solar installation has been specifically designed to withstand Bermuda’s corrosive, humid and hurricane prone environment. The entire project will be completed by renewable energy company BE Solar, a 100% Bermudian team. The 3,501 sq. ft. solar installation will be installed along the NMB’s Northwest Rampart that connects the old Casemate Barracks to the Commissioner’s House and is scheduled to be completed in the first quarter of 2017.

Roy Bedlow, chief executive at Low Carbon comments on the news, “We continue to support Land Rover BAR as a sustainable sports team, and applaud their goal to minimise their impact on the precious resources of Bermuda. By partnering with them on this project, we will be aiming to produce enough energy to match and even exceed the amount that the team use whilst on the island. At the same time, we’ll be leaving an important sustainable legacy for Bermuda, as our project will keep producing renewable energy long after the team has left. It is exciting to be working with Land Rover BAR, local businesses and the museum to apply solar energy in an effective, targeted way that will benefit the people of Bermuda for years to come”.

Team Principal and Skipper for Land Rover BAR, Sir Ben Ainslie commented, “We have set our goal to be the most sustainable sports team, and feel it is important for our team to have a minimum impact on Bermuda and leave a legacy behind us when we left Bermuda. The solar project is one of the most important projects to be delivered by our partners – although our goal is to take the Cup home, we want to leave plenty behind us that will benefit the island and its people”.

Chairman of National Museum of Bermuda, James Hallett said, “The National Museum is delighted to be the beneficiary of this Land Rover BAR legacy project and would like to thank Low Carbon and The Stempel Foundation for helping us to become more sustainable in terms of reducing our carbon footprint and operational costs. The solar panels will reduce our electricity bills by 20% allowing the Museum to concentrate its efforts on cultural heritage preservation. Also a major focus of our Museum is Bermuda’s maritime heritage, which makes this gift particularly relevant”.

Travis Burland, Sales & Engineering Director of BE Solar explained “This is an exciting legacy project for Bermuda and we are extremely proud to have been awarded this opportunity. Our team is looking forward to installing the most advanced solar installation in Bermuda, which will help the National Museum of Bermuda reduce their operating costs and offset their environmental impact well beyond the year 2047.”

For more information on the National Museum of Bermuda, please visit http://nmb.bm/visit/.

 

-ENDS-

 

About Low Carbon

Low Carbon is a privately owned investment company committed to the development and operation of renewable energy power production. Low Carbon invests into both renewable energy developers and projects across a range of renewable energy technologies including solar, wind, anaerobic digestion, combined heat and power, concentrated solar power and energy storage. Low Carbon has a strong management team with a proven track record in the development, construction, financing and management of renewable energy assets. For UK solar alone, Low Carbon has funded and is operating more than 320MW. Low Carbon remains involved in the projects for the long term with a dedicated asset management team that manages assets on balance sheet and for third parties (unlisted and listed).

www.lowcarbon.com

 

About Land Rover BAR

Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) was launched on June 10th 2014 in the presence of Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge. The team was conceived by four times Olympic gold medallist and 34th America’s Cup winner, Sir Ben Ainslie, with the long-term aim of challenging for Britain and bringing the America’s Cup back home to where it all began in 1851. Ben has developed and will lead a British entry capable of winning the prestigious trophy, something Britain has so far never managed to achieve.

Land Rover BAR is a commercial sporting team, with a number of individual private investors alongside corporate partners. The team is made up of some of the best British and international sailors, designers, builders and racing support.

Sports teams represent key role models in society. This privileged position is not taken for granted at Land Rover BAR. The team believe our influence should extend far beyond the race course, and have put sustainability at the heart of operations since launching the team with Exclusive Sustainability Partner 11th Hour Racing in 2014.

The team have built a new headquarters in the centre of Portsmouth, the 74,000 sq ft. building houses all the team’s activities, and will welcome the public into its Tech Deck education centre.

The 1851 Trust is the team’s official charity, and HRH The Duchess of Cambridge is its Royal Patron.

Portsmouth will host a second Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series event on 21st-24th July 2016. Almost a quarter of a million spectators enjoyed the action in Portsmouth in 2015, with 25,000 of them taking to the water – more are expected to come back in 2016 to watch the racing and cheer for the home team.

LandRoverBAR.com #BringTheCupHome

http://land-rover-bar.americascup.com/

 

About the National Museum of Bermuda

The National Museum of Bermuda, formerly Bermuda Maritime Museum, is a non-government, not-for-profit Bermuda Registered Charity (No. 136). For four decades the Museum has been a steward of Bermuda’s cultural heritage, championing its preservation through collecting practices, exhibitions, restoration projects, conservation, research, publications, education and archaeology. http://nmb.bm/visit/

 

About BE Solar

BE Solar is a fourth-generation, 80 year old Bermudian company dedicated to providing the highest quality solar and energy efficiency solutions. BE Solar is focused on making a stronger and more secure Bermuda by supplying homes and businesses with holistic and comprehensive energy solutions. The BE Solar mission is to empower people and businesses to make the smartest investments that save money and strengthen the Bermudian economy.

http://www.besolar.bm/