New Zealand’s Beast is eating up timber – and that’s the solution, not the problem! Unwanted waste wood makes up 12% of all waste filling up the Kiwi nation’s landfill sites. EnviroNZ’s new heavy machinery, known as “the Beast” chews up waste wood and converts it into wood pellets. Those pellets are then sold to a cement factory which uses them as biofuel. This keeps construction and demolition timber out of landfill sites and reduces the use of fossil fuels – a double win, courtesy of the Beast!
UK Power Networks is investing over £100 million of infrastructure in London and the East and South East of England. Over 100 projects will see upgrades of substations, transformers and circuit breakers to support more than 8.4 million homes and businesses. Of the total investment amount, £66 million will be dedicated to Green Recovery scheme projects that will fast-track low carbon at 86 sites, advancing the nation to hit targets set out in the government’s Ten Point Plan towards Net Zero by 2050.
Northumbrian Water has been awarded over £6 million in the second round of the Water Breakthrough Challenge, led by the UK’s water regulator, Ofwat. The funds will advance projects which will help to reduce leakage and enable innovation across the utilities sector. The award will flow to two separate projects: the National Leakage Research and Test Centre and Stream, an open data-sharing platform to improve collaborative research.
UK Power Networks supercharges Green Recovery programme
UK Power Networks’ new Green Recovery programme is funding a range of “shovel-ready” projects to supercharge the UK’s march towards its Carbon Zero future. Over £66 million has been committed to supplying heat pumps for local authorities and communities. Eighty-six applications were approved for projects, including district heating for schools and communities, which will provide more efficient use of energy and reduce carbon footprints. The use of electric vehicles has also been promoted with software upgrades that enable a single substation to support up to 500 charging stations without the need for additional investment in hardware such as heavy cabling or new substations.
SA Power Networks’ sunny plans bear powerful fruit
South Australia is a world leader in the adoption of rooftop solar energy. On the sunniest days, home owners now put more energy back into the grid than they take out. In late December, a new record was set with the distribution network operated by SA Power Networks exporting 185MW to the national grid. SA Power Networks’ active support of rooftop solar has resulted in it receiving the South Australian Premier’s Award for Innovation and Collaboration in Energy for its Enhanced Voltage Management Project. This project has improved substation voltage management and local network solar capacity for 80% of SA Power Networks’ customers.
Enerven wins with rapid roll-out of solar and battery solutions for water utility
Enerven, an SA Power Networks company, has won the Australian Construction Achievement Award. Their Zero Cost Energy Future project for SA Water saw Enerven design and build over 242GWh of solar photovoltaic (PV) and 34MWh of energy storage across 33 South Australia water sites in less than 24 months. This storage enables SA Water to manage their excess energy production and feed it back into the grid to achieve a zero-net outcome.
£1 million to connect renewable energy to the grid
UK Power Networks will commit almost £1 million to upgrading the electricity grid to allow for renewable energy to be connected to the power grid for households in Kent, Sussex and Surrey. Wind and solar farms will be able to feed energy into the power system, reducing reliance on non-renewable sources. The ‘load blinding relays’ are like safety valves that help to monitor electricity.
UK Power Networks investing in the UK’s net zero future
UK citizens aiming to support the country to hit net zero carbon emissions are benefiting from extra funding to help the United Kingdom get there by 2050. UK Power Networks is carrying out 86 low-carbon energy projects worth £66 million that will help transition the economy to one that has a lower environmental footprint. ‘Shovel-ready’ plans were targeted for immediate impact, including installing rapid electric vehicle charging stations in local communities, energy generators looking to connect more renewable energy to the electricity network, and community energy projects.
Installing homes for migratory swifts might not be the first thing you think of a power company doing, but UK Power Networks partnered with North East Herts Swifts Group to do just that. The birds’ population has been declining for years and the power company is helping by installing potential homes, including tempting bird song audio, on the village hall in Albury, southwest of London. Swifts nest as colonies and return to the same home every year after their long migration to Africa, so once established in Albury, they could return annually.
With brighter days – and even brighter nights – ahead, UK Power Networks is upgrading London’s nightlife. A £16.2 million upgrade discreetly installed under the legendary Leicester Square Gardens will see three major transformers replaced with cleaner and greener successors over a two-year period. The site will also be visited by school leavers and out-of-work young people being helped by a local programme to develop career-starting skills for a brighter future.
UK Power Networks is making the most of middle management by launching a new Leadership Academy that will reach up to 600 line managers. The UK’s Apprenticeship Levy scheme is being reinvested in delivering courses leading to Chartered Management Institute qualifications in a programme tailored to the company’s specific needs. External experts will enliven the programme and it will finish with a full graduation ceremony for those ready to flex their new management skills!