California set to spend $3bn increasing efficiency of Hoover Dam
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has expressed aims to build a pump station and pipeline at California’s Hoover Dam in order to boost the capacity of the 80-year-old facility.
At the moment, the Hoover Dam, which produces hydroelectric power and is one of the largest plants of its kind in the country, only operates at about 20% of its potential capacity so the LADWP is looking into how it can become a more efficient source of renewable energy.
The department is planning a project worth $3bn and will construct a pipeline through the dam, as well as a pump station located down the Colorado River, powered by excess solar and wind energy.
Reiko Kerr, senior assistant general manager of LADWP, said: “We’re trying to look long-term for how we integrate higher levels of renewables. It runs at a very low capacity factor at about 20% which means there’s a lot more water you can run through to produce energy.”
Solar and wind power will be used to pump water back up to Lake Mead, which the dam blocks off, to be stored until it is needed to produce power.
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.