The Latest Sustainable Energy News from Low Carbon

VLC Energy unveils UK’s largest battery storage portfolio

8 January 2018. VLC Energy has announced the completion of the UK’s largest portfolio of utility-scale, enhanced frequency response battery storage sites to support grid flexibility and increase reliance on low-carbon forms of electricity generation. VLC Energy 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.

The 50MW portfolio, which is now grid connected, spans two sites including a 40MW battery park in Glassenbury in Kent and a 10 MW battery park located at Cleator in Cumbria. The two sites secured contracts as part of 2016’s 200MW National Grid Enhanced Frequency Response (EFR) auction, and will deliver a quarter of the auction’s capacity.

The two sites, which use LG Chem lithium-ion battery modules, and advanced energy management systems from NEC, will provide sub-second responses to surges in energy supply and demand, providing grid flexibility and electricity storage. Both the Cleator and Glassenbury sites have been awarded capacity market contracts.

 

Roy Bedlow, Chief Executive of Low Carbon, said:

“These battery parks represent perhaps the greatest increase in UK energy storage capacity to date as part of National Grid’s EFR auction. We’re delighted to have developed these sites with our partners at VPI Immingham, and look forward to expanding VLC Energy’s storage portfolio.

“Energy storage is critical to managing the demands on the grid, ensuring consumer needs are met, and increasing our reliance on low-carbon forms of electricity generation. These sites will help us tackle climate change and help the UK realise a cleaner and more energy efficient future.”

 

Russell Hardy, Chairman, VPI Immingham and CEO EMEA, Vitol, said:

“Batteries hold the key to the future of the power landscape, both in the UK and internationally.  Ensuring grid resilience is a necessary step in the growth of renewable generation.”

 

Leon Walker, Quantitative Analysis Manager, at National Grid said:

“Using battery storage is a significant development for managing the national grid. It’s an ultra-fast way of keeping electricity supply and demand balanced. 

“Over four years we estimate that this service will save the system operator around £200m. This is good news for consumers who benefit from our cost efficiencies, and paves the way for battery technology to establish itself as an important component of our energy system.” 

 

-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 PV, wind, anaerobic digestion, combined heat and power, concentrated solar power, energy efficiency 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. 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

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.