The Latest Sustainable Energy News from Low Carbon

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.”



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).


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.

VPI Immingham/Vitol contact:

Andrea Schlaepfer

+44 207 973 4230


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”.




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).


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:

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




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).


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. #BringTheCupHome


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.


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.

Low Carbon secures two contracts in National Grid’s EFR tender

Low Carbon successfully secured two energy storage contracts in the National Grid’s recent Enhanced Frequency Response (EFR) tender process. The tender process which was held in July 2016 saw National Grid procured 200MW of enhanced frequency response.

EFR is a service that allows rapid  (sub-second) response times to grid frequency or price signals resulting in potentially significant cost saving for National Grid. National Grid defines EFR as: a service that achieves 100% active power output at 1 second (or less) of registering a frequency deviation…  EFR is a new service that is being developed to improve management of the system frequency pre-fault, i.e. to maintain the system frequency closer to 50Hz under normal operation.

Highlights of the recent EFR tender are:

  • The National Grid has awarded eight significant energy storage contracts, as part of its inaugural Enhanced Frequency Response service tender
  • Low Carbon, a leading renewable energy investor, is one of just seven businesses to be awarded tenders – and the only business to be awarded two contracts
  • The two sites in Cleator, Cumbria and Glassenbury, Kent, will give the National Grid the ability to store 50 MW – greater capacity than any other provider named
  • The two deals are worth a combined £15.35 million. Work is estimated to start on the projects from December 2017 in Cleator, and March 2017 in Glassenbury

Roy Bedlow, Chief Executive, at Low Carbon, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have been selected by the National Grid to deliver two significant energy storage projects in the UK. As a leading renewable energy investment company, operating a growing portfolio of more than 320MW of renewable assets, we are committed to making a positive and significant impact on the causes of climate change worldwide. We see energy storage as playing a crucial role in both the management of energy supply in the UK and in the wider uptake of renewable energy technologies nationwide in the future.

As the UK’s energy requirements continue to grow, energy storage has an essential role to play in ensuring that energy is always available where it is needed. As the energy industry moves away from carbon-heavy production, the twin-approach of renewable energy and storage will enable us to collectively combat the causes of climate change and achieve a global low-carbon future through carbon emissions reduction.”




More details on the EFR and the tender winners can be found on the National Grid website here.

Land Rover BAR lead the way in sustainable sport with BREEAM Excellent building

Land Rover BAR are forging ahead in their goal to become the UK’s most sustainable professional sports team, now believed to be the first professional British sports team to operate from a BREEAM Excellent building.

The team’s new 74,000sq.ft waterfront home on Camber Quay received the accolade this week from the world’s leading arbiters of sustainable architecture. Used in more than 70 countries, BREEAM have issued more than 530,000 certificates on more than 24,000 projects around the world, and over 2.2 million buildings and communities are registered for certification.

Simon Guy from BREEAM commented, “Congratulations to Land Rover BAR achieving a first in the sailing world with the BREEAM Excellent rating for the Camber Quay HQ. BREEAM is an international standard that rewards exceptional sustainable design and construction – a real recognition of a strong vision and team effort from all concerned.”

The team have already seen their operations awarded the Olympic-inspired international standard, ISO 20121, providing a framework for delivery of sustainable operations throughout the team’s activities. Land Rover BAR is the only sports team in the UK to achieve the certification across all its activities. Now it has added to this accolade by achieving BREEAM Excellent standard.

The team takes its responsibility for addressing the issue of climate change seriously, and reducing carbon emissions through the design and build of their team base is just one element of their commitment to sustainability. Working alongside their Exclusive Sustainability Partner 11th Hour Racing, and with the help of Land Rover, BT and Low Carbon, they are committed to becoming the most sustainable sports team in the UK, and these two achievements set the team on the right path.

Jeremy Pochman, President of 11th Hour Racing commented, “We are proud of Land Rover BAR’s achievements and progress across the board of their sustainability strategy, which is highlighted in the team’s headquarters. The team’s base is a true testament to innovation, technology, long-term vision and sustainability – all elements that are integral to the mission of 11th Hour Racing. By investing in such a progressive structure, Land Rover BAR have demonstrated how smart sustainable design and construction can lead to enormous gains in terms of efficiency – not only as far as energy, but also at a competitive and sporting level. For 11th Hour Racing, this milestone of BREEAM excellent standard represents an unprecedented success story, and a legacy that will inspire the next generation of sailors, engineers, architects and fans across the world of sport.”

Opened in June 2015, the building contains many sustainability features.

Renewable Energy
This project has exciting implications for renewable energy. Because the Land Rover BAR philosophy is about educating and engaging locally, the project will be a fantastic showcase for how large buildings can be sustainable.”
Roy Bedlow, Founder and CEO, Low Carbon (Land Rover BAR’s renewable energy partner)

  • Low Carbon installed 432 Solar panels on 100% of the available roof space.
  • Solar panels generate 130 Mwh/yr and 20% of our energy.
  • Remaining electricity supplied by renewable sources.

“The team have made a particular effort with this site to provide ecological enhancements that are suitable for the habitat and marine environment in which the site is situated, demonstrating a long term commitment to establishing a locally relevant enhancement of the species diversity of the site, using best practice and marine ecosystem conservation management.”
Tony Blunden, Ecologist, Aluco Ecology Ltd

  • 69 new species now find their home on the site, compared to eight prior to the development of the building.
  • Oysters were saved from a dredge site and relocated to 9m2 of protected oyster beds hosted on the team’s pontoon developed in partnership with our marina partner MDL Marinas to help restart a viable population of oysters in the Solent region.

The Atrium
“One of our favourite parts of the building is the Atrium; it allows a direct source of daylight to filter through from the top floor down through all levels to the heart of the workshop. It is also used to draw air up through the building, releasing it through glazed louvres to help regulate internal temperatures; all while providing visual interest and physical connection between the various functions and teams within the building.”
Vivienne Conway, architects, HGP Architects

  • Natural ventilation through the central atrium eliminates the need for a mechanical ventilation system.
  • All offices have direct access to natural daylight, reducing the demand for interior artificial light.

The Wrap
“A gigantic fabric wrap has been applied to much of the building façade, its translucency will still admit natural light to the interior, while reducing solar glare. It provides a layer of insulation, protecting the building fabric and retaining heat in winter like a coat.”
Phil Ward, environmental consultants, Couch Perry Wilkes

  • A heat saving air cushion of approximately 4-5 degrees around the building.
  • The fabric controls the amount of sunlight that enters the building, reducing energy used for cooling and so reduces the carbon emissions.