The Latest Sustainable Energy News from Low Carbon

Northern Parade Infant and Junior School completes solar PV installation in a bid to become more sustainable

Portsmouth primary school works with renewable energy investor, Low Carbon and the Land Rover BAR sailing team to reap benefits of renewable energy technology

PORTSMOUTH, UK – 22 MARCH 2016 – A primary school in Portsmouth has become the latest to lead the charge for sustainability by completing an onsite rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) installation, in partnership with several local organisations. The project at Northern Parade Infant and Junior School in Hilsea, Portsmouth means that the school will not only reduce its carbon emissions, but will also benefit from the use of free renewable electricity that will be generated by the panels. This will significantly reduce the running costs of the school buildings, and will allow budgets to be allocated to other key projects within the school.

The project was facilitated and funded by UK-based renewable energy investment company Low Carbon, in collaboration with local America’s Cup sailing team Land Rover BAR and its charity, the 1851 Trust. Portsmouth County Council has also offered support for this project.

The solar installation is comprised of 240 solar PV panels and has an expected annual production of 64,754 kWh – enough to power 21 homes. This equates to a total of 30 tonnes of CO2 being saved by the school every year. There is a tremendous opportunity for this school to help mitigate the negative effects of climate change while helping to educate school pupils as to benefits of renewable energy technology.

The project demonstrates how all key stakeholders are acting as responsible members of the community and are passionate about driving change within their local area. Not only will this installation save the school money and help reduce its carbon footprint, but it will also help engage the next generation and the wider community in the importance of renewable energy in the ongoing fight against climate change.

Low Carbon is a renewable energy investment company whose portfolio includes solar, wind, anaerobic digestion and concentrated solar power. Low Carbon has been working with Portsmouth-based sailing team Land Rover BAR, captained by Sir Ben Ainslie, for several years, most recently on the team’s sustainable HQ located on The Camber. The team is keen to be an active and engaged member of the wider community, which in doing so supports the aims and goals of the team’s charity – the 1851 Trust. This charity aims to inspire and engage a new generation through sailing and protecting marine environments, providing young people with the education, skills and training to become innovators of the future and stewards of the marine environment. To support the goals of the charity, any subsidy revenue generated from the installation at the primary school will be recycled into the 1851 Trust.

Roy Bedlow, Chief Executive and co-founder of Low Carbon, and Trustee of the 1851 Trust, commented: “Low Carbon and Land Rover BAR share the same goal of mitigating the negative effects of climate change. Being part of this project presents a strong opportunity for us – to drive community involvement and engagement with renewables, and to educate the next generation as to benefits of renewable energy. This is the key to unlocking greater adoption of renewable energy across other schools, businesses and households across the country. If the recent Paris Climate Change conference (COP21) taught us anything, it is that all levels of industry, sectors and individuals can play their part in the fight against global warming”.

Sir Ben Ainslie, Team Principal and Skipper of Land Rover BAR, four-time Olympic medallist and America’s Cup winner, said: “Sports teams such as Land Rover BAR can play a powerful role in inspiring the next generation, educating individuals about the need for greater sustainability and driving positive change. We hope this project will not only help Northern Parade Infant and Junior School deliver on its sustainability goals, but also provide inspiration to schools across the country on the opportunities that renewable technology installations can bring to students, staff and the wider community”.

Cllr Neill Young, Cabinet Member for Children Services and Education said: “The installation of these solar panels as part of the work to expand Northern Parade School is great – the school is more energy efficient and the creation of renewable energy will help reduce the school’s running costs.  It’s also good for the pupils to see technology and renewable energy in action on their school.”

 

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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 and concentrated solar power. 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 270MW. Low Carbon remains involved in the projects for the long term with a dedicated asset management team that currently manages assets on balance sheet and for third parties (unlisted and listed).

www.lowcarbon.com

About Roy Bedlow

Roy Bedlow is Low Carbon’s co-founder and Chief Executive and Trustee of the 1851 Trust. He is a founder member of the Carbon War Room and a Trustee of the Rocky Mountain Institute. Roy also sits on the Board of the energy efficiency technology company, enModus and the Board of the educational development company, Sparx.

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 medalist 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 a Visitor Centre hosted by the 1851 Trust. The Trust is the team’s official charity, and HRH The Duchess of Cambridge is its Royal Patron.

www.landroverbar.com

About the 1851 Trust

The 1851 Trust aims to inspire and engage a new generation through sailing and the marine industry, providing young people with the education, skills and training to become innovators of the future, and stewards of the marine environment. The Trust is supported by Land Rover BAR, the team to bring the America’s Cup back to Britain – a trophy that left these shores in 1851, a trophy that Britain has never won.

http://www.1851trust.org.uk/

Low Carbon is buzzing to champion biodiversity

Low Carbon partners with Plan Bee to install 25 beehives on five of its solar farms across southern England in a bid to promote greater biodiversity and boost the local bee population.

London, UK, 26 August 2015 – Leading renewable energy investment company Low Carbon has launched an initiative to promote greater biodiversity in Cornwall, Dorset and Suffolk. Low Carbon has partnered with sustainability company Plan Bee to install and manage 25 bee hives across five of its solar farms.

Honeybee populations have halved in the UK over the last two decades, according to research by the University of Reading, with climate change, mites, pesticides and disorders, contributing to this. Plan Bee partners with businesses like Low Carbon to support and increase populations of this valuable insect, which is an essential component in the balance of our delicate ecosystem.

Quentin Scott, Low Carbon’s Marketing Director said: “We are committed to protecting local habitats and ecosystems on our solar farms. Encouraging biodiversity should not be a bolt on for renewable energy companies, but rather a core responsibility. Protecting bees, insects and other species is a crucial part in the fight against climate change and we look forward to continuing our work with Plan Bee in the future.”

Low Carbon works across the solar, concentrated solar power, wind and anaerobic digestion sectors. It currently operates over 270MW of operational solar energy assets in the UK.

The renewable energy investor is making every effort to play a central part in the farming communities surrounding its sites. By locating on fallow land that is unusable for agriculture, Low Carbon is delivering a long-term investment in these areas.

Quentin Scott added: “By taking measurable steps to install beehives on our solar farms, we hope to show that investing in solar PV on their land needn’t be at the cost of local wildlife. Through our community outreach, we want to help champion biodiversity”

Each of the five sites will host more than 300,000 bees to help cultivate local crops and encourage biodiversity. A remote monitoring system is planned, which will allow Plan Bee to keep tabs on each bee colony by monitoring parameters such as brood temperature, humidity, hive weight and weather conditions.

Each hive will produce high quality local honey, which will be sent to key stakeholders and partners in the ongoing effort to raise awareness of the plight of bees and continued support for renewable energy.

Warren Bader, Plan Bee Ltd’s CEO said: “We’re delighted to be working with a prestigious renewable energy company like Low Carbon, who share our vision on biodiversity and sustainability. They’re playing a part in supporting the local communities in which they work. Like the bee community they are working together for the betterment of the collective. While renewable energy companies are sustainable by their very nature, we offer them the opportunity of improved ROI, which we like to think of as ‘return on involvement’.

 

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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 and concentrated solar power. 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 270MW. Low Carbon remains involved in the projects for the long term with a dedicated asset management team that currently manages assets on balance sheet and for third parties (unlisted and listed).www.lowcarbon.com

 

About Plan Bee

Plan Bee works with a number of high profile businesses across the UK to support their sustainability needs. Low Carbon is matching the commitment already shown by companies the likes of Highland Spring, Kelloggs, British Gas and Balfour Beatty. Some of Plan Bee’s clients are also utilizing the community engagement offering of the company to deliver legacy projects in areas where they have delivered large constructions or where work has had an environmental impact.

A number of renewable energy companies are already talking to Plan Bee to help extend their sustainability offering, improve their community engagement and corporate citizenship; and involve employees in biodiversity projects to improve company morale, with tangible results. This improved sustainability ethos has business benefits as well, by supporting planning requirements, as well as in the bids and tendering process.

 

The home of Land Rover BAR is now powered by the sun

Land Rover BAR and renewable energy investment partner, Low Carbon, today announce that the team’s roof top solar installation is now fully operational.

The solar panels installed at the home of Land Rover BAR have a capacity of 114kW and will contribute approximately 130,000kWh of clean energy per year towards the team’s energy needs – enough to power more than 40 homes, while saving over 60 tonnes of CO2.

The system uses 432 high capacity solar panels and more than 200 special system optimisers to  ensure the system performs to peak capacity in all light conditions.

The partnership with Low Carbon is an example of how Land Rover BAR is leading the sporting world in sustainability, in its bid to bring the 35th America’s Cup home to Britain.

Roy Bedlow, chief executive and co-founder of Low Carbon comments, ‘With fully operational solar panels in place, the home of Land Rover BAR is a beacon of best practice for sustainable construction. By installing renewable energy technologies such as solar panels, other sporting organisations can help lead the charge in influencing sustainable behaviour and we hope to see more sports team and businesses make this impactful change.’

Dr Susie Tomson, Land Rover BAR’s sustainability manager stated, ‘We set out our sustainability principles from the start to deliver a team with a light environmental footprint and sustainable construction at its heart. Having Low Carbon as our renewable energy partner, as well as 11th Hour Racing as our sustainability partner, has been instrumental in us really raising the bar as to what can be achieved by a major sports team – it’s a really exciting partnership for the team, delivering real change on the ground.’

 

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Notes to Editors

About Land Rover BAR

Land Rover BAR was launched on June 10th 2014 in the presence of 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 will develop and 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.

www.landroverbar.com

 

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 and concentrated solar power. 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 270MW. Low Carbon remains involved in the projects for the long term with a dedicated asset management team that currently manages assets on balance sheet and for third parties (unlisted and listed).

www.lowcarbon.com

Renewables considered as good a return for pension investments as fossil fuels, according to new poll

Britons believe pension investments in renewables such as solar power deliver as good a return as investments on traditional commodities such as oil and gas, according to a new ComRes poll commissioned by energy policy specialists the Whitehouse Consultancy.

Nearly a third of respondents believed renewable technologies including solar and wind would yield the greatest return (32%), despite recent high profile campaigns which have highlighted pension fund holdings in fossil fuels. 18% said solar power would provide the greatest returns, while 7% said wind and 7% said hydropower.

A total of thirty-three percent of Britons expected higher pension returns on traditional commodities of oil and gas (18%), nuclear (14%) and coal (1%). Only 1% of respondents thought investment in coal would provide the greatest return. The Whitehouse Consultancy has suggested the findings show the successful promotion of renewables as pension investment options, and the limited success of existing fossil fuel campaigns.

People in Scotland were more likely to say that investment in renewables would lead to the greatest return with nearly half (44%) believing this to be the case, and people in Wales thought that investment in solar in particular would yield the greatest returns (19%).

Helen Munro, Managing Director of the Whitehouse Consultancy, said: “This poll shows that the public are aware of some of the benefits of investing in renewable technologies. However, we would argue that the pensions industry can do more to educate the public on what their pensions are being invested in, and the likely returns on that investment. Otherwise, the opportunities of investment in renewables might be lost – which is disappointing for investors and will negatively impact on the development of renewables. This will be crucial in the coming years as the UK accelerates the rate of decarbonisation to meet the targets of the 2008 Climate Change Act, and as we as a society attempt to mitigate against climate change.”

Nigel Labram of Low Carbon, said: “It is great to see that the public are aware of the excellent investment outlook for clean technologies such as solar PV. The renewables sector is a huge success story for the UK economy; with jobs in the industry growing at more than seven times the national average and I am pleased the public are increasingly recognising this”

“There is a growing public mandate for pension funds to divest their unsustainable holdings in fossil fuels, and this poll is an important addition to that evidence base. But it is critical that divested funds are matched by a similar increase in investment in clean alternatives. With the Paris climate conference taking place in December, this year represents a unique opportunity for managers to build innovative investment models that embrace the proven returns available in the green economy”.

Poll results

Q: Which ONE of the following industries do you think provides the greatest long-term return on investment for pension funds?

Oil & gas 18%
Solar 18%
Nuclear 14%
Wind 7%
Hydropower / Tidal 7%
Coal 1%
Don’t know 36%

Base: GB adults (n=2,001)

Methodology Note: ComRes interviewed 2,001 British adults online between 5th and 7th June 2015. Data were weighted to be representative of all GB adults aged 18+. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

 

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The Whitehouse Consultancy

The Whitehouse Consultancy is a Westminster-based specialist in public affairs and political communications with a particular expertise in energy policy.

www.whitehouseconsulting.co.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 and concentrated solar power. 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 270MW. Low Carbon remains involved in the projects for the long term with a dedicated asset management team that currently manages assets on balance sheet and for third parties (unlisted and listed).

 

Ben Ainslie Racing and Low Carbon take the lead in sports team sustainability

As construction on the new home of Ben Ainslie Racing nears completion, the team and Low Carbon call on sports teams to consider how they can use their influence to drive change.

16 June 2015 – Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR), spearheaded by Olympic multi-gold medallist Sir Ben Ainslie, has called on sporting organisations in the UK to use their clout to educate and inform the public about the importance of being more environmentally friendly, as the construction of the BAR team’s new energy-efficient headquarters in Portsmouth reaches its final stages.

BAR’s new state-of-the-art, purpose-built facility will house all of the team’s activities from design to sailing, sports science to marketing. The home of BAR will champion sport, innovation, technology and sustainability, with a visitor and education centre providing an accessible showcase for sustainable best practice, and renewable energy sources, such as roof-mounted solar panels supplied by renewable energy investment company Low Carbon, contributing to the building’s power needs.

“As societal role models, sports teams are in a privileged position. They have the power to drive positive change through setting an example and drawing attention to the issues that matter, such as sustainability,” said Sir Ben Ainslie, BAR’s Team Principal and America’s Cup winner. “As a team we are striving to become a truly sustainable business, however our ambitions extend far beyond this. We want to lead the way by educating and inspiring younger generations to drive sustainability forward.”

A long-term partnership with Low Carbon, will see high-performance solar panels installed across three floors of the building, helping the new home of BAR to achieve BREEAM Excellent standard – the benchmark in sustainable building design, construction and operation – upon completion in September 2015. The solar panels will have a capacity of 114kW contributing approximately 130,000kWh of clean energy per year towards the team’s energy needs – enough to power more than 40 homes, while saving over 60 tonnes of CO2.

Roy Bedlow, Low Carbon co-founder and chief executive, commented: “Low Carbon and BAR share the same goal of mitigating the negative effects of climate change. Sports teams such as BAR can play a powerful role in educating consumers about the need for greater sustainability and driving positive change. Visitors to the team’s site will not only see the solar panels in situ but also see the benefits of them whilst in the base. Continuing to educate consumers is the key to unlocking greater adoption of renewable energy across businesses and households, and we look forward to continuing our long-term relationship with BAR.”

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Notes to Editors

About Ben Ainslie Racing

Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) was launched on June 10th 2014 in the presence of 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 will develop and lead a British entry capable of winning the prestigious trophy, something Britain has so far never managed to achieve.

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.

www.benainslieracing.com

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 and concentrated solar power. 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 270MW. Low Carbon remains involved in the projects for the long term with a dedicated asset management team that currently manages assets on balance sheet and for third parties (unlisted and listed).

www.lowcarbon.com

About Roy Bedlow

Roy Bedlow is Low Carbon’s co-founder and Chief Executive and Trustee of the 1851 Trust. He is a founder member of the Carbon War Room and a Trustee of the Rocky Mountain Institute. Roy also sits on the Board of the energy efficiency technology company, enModus and the Board of the educational development company, Sparx.