Swedish energy giant to sell renewable power from 165MW wind farm direct to business customers in what could prove to be a milestone development for UK renewables. Businesses are being offered the chance to purchase power direct from one of Scotland’s largest onshore wind farms in a move that could throw a lifeline to the UK’s onshore wind energy industry, Swedish developer Vattenfall confirmed today. The renewable energy giant announced it is seeking to sell power from the planned South Kyle Wind Farm in South West Scotland via corporate Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs).
Business Green 30th April 2018 read more »
GETTING any renewables project through planning can be a very challenging experience, particularly a major infrastructure project. Pat Hawthorn, a partner in law firm Shepherd and Wedderburn’s planning and environment team, points out that, from the outset, the consenting process is not a rapid affair. “If the consenting authority follows the process properly, then it should be approving strong projects. The whole system should be geared towards delivering the right decision at the end,” she notes. Shepherd and Wedderburn has worked on offshore wind projects north and south of the border over the past ten years and Hawthorn points out that the two jurisdictions have some real differences when it comes to the approvals process. “The English system is a labour-intensive and legalistic process. What it has going for it though, is that decisions have to be made withi n a certain timeframe. We have worked within the English process for a number of major offshore wind farm applications now, and it is a great help to know that a consent or refusal has to be delivered within a fixed period of time, broadly speaking,” she says. The English approvals process is designed to ensure that proposals undergo extensive public consultation (arguably to the point of consultee fatigue on occasion) and are thoroughly tested in a series of open hearings. HeraldScotland: By way of contrast, Hawthorn notes, the Scottish approvals process is based on the 1989 Electricity Act, which was not designed to deliver the scale and complexity of infrastructure involved in offshore wind projects. “We are working with a different generation of consenting regime here in Scotland, one that the offshore industry, lawyers and Scottish Government are trying to upgrade to make ‘fit for purpose’. We are in a much better place now than we were five years ago, ” she explains. “However, it begs the question of whether we persist with incremental improvements and amendments to the Act, or instead, introduce a new process for significant infrastructure at some stage, as has been done in England.”
Herald 30th April 2018 read more »
One of the perennial issues for owners of grid-connected renewable power generation assets is the obligation to comply with National Grid’s instructions to stop pumping electricity into the grid when there is over-supply. Of course, this is just one of any number of maintenance tasks that come with ownership of renewable power generating assets. However, as Pieter D’haen, Commercial Director at the renewables consultancy, Natural Power, explains, perhaps the easiest way of responding to instructions from National Grid is to outsource the management and maintenance of the asset to a specialist provider. Natural Power runs a grid ControlCentre at its offices near Castle Douglas where it manages some 30 per cent of the UK’s installed wind power. “The UK has very strict wind turbine safety rules. Any activity on a wind farm site has to be monitored to ensure the highest standards of safet y for any staff. Above all, you want to make sure that the turbine is not restarted while staff are still in the vicinity,” D’haen notes. All the client has to do is to call Natural Power’s ControlCentre for permission for maintenance staff to go onsite and the company can then shut down the turbine and log the visit and the reason. This provides a clear safety record for all visits to any of the sites monitored by the Centre.
Herald 30tn April 2018 read more »
The UK has climbed to the seventh most attractive country in the world for renewables, according to a new report. EY’s Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI) ranks 40 countries on their investment and deployment opportunities. China tops the list for the third time in a row, while the US and Germany overtake India which falls from second to fourth position. Meanwhile the Netherlands has climbed from 15th to ninth due to an expansion in renewable energy development.
Energy Voice 1st May 2018 read more »