CIP starts construction on 298MW of US solar projects
Danish fund manager Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) has announced construction has begun on its two US solar farm projects which will have a total capacity of almost 300MW.
These are to be located in Texas and Utah. The larger Misae facility in Texas will have a capacity of 240MW, with solar panels supplied by Jinko and the building and operation and management (O&M) to be completed by Mortenson Company.
The project was acquired by CIP earlier this year and the farm is expected to be operational by the end of 2019.
A second 58MW facility to be located in Utah is the Sage Project. The EPC contract has been awarded to RES America Construction and the project should come online in the second half of 2019.
Christian Skakkebæk, Senior Partner at CIP, said that the projects, which are the first large scale solar projects for CIP, represent “an important milestone.” He added that the commencement of construction “demonstrates CIP’s capacity to originate, develop, structure and finance utility-scale energy infrastructure projects across multiple asset classes and technologies”.
“We are looking forward to working with our US-based suppliers, contractors and operators, as well as the local communities and authorities, to make the solar projects successful and deliver cost competitive, green power to the local consumers,” said Skakkebæk.
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.