GE to supply ENGIE onshore wind project with 180 turbines
French electricity utility giant ENGIE is currently developing two onshore wind projects in the US, the Kings Plain project in Oklahoma and the Triple H Wind project in South Dakota.
With construction having begun earlier this year and commercial operations due to begin sometime in the second half of 2020, ENGIE North America has selected GE Renewable Energy to provide the total 180 wind turbines for the projects at a cumulative capacity of 885MW.
GE has become one of the US’s leading wind turbine manufacturers, contributing to 40% of all of the US’s new installed onshore wind power in 2018 at a capacity exceeding 3GW. It’s certainly an exciting market to lead at present, with the American Wind Energy Association reporting that Q2 2019 saw a 10% increase year-on-year in wind capacity under construction or in advanced development. The quarter saw a staggering 42GW in such projects, and global demand for renewable energy is likely to see the trend continue.
“We’re delighted to partner with ENGIE on these projects,” said Vikas Anand, GE Renewable Energy’s CEO for Onshore Wind in the Americas. “Our best-selling 2MW turbines are a great fit for Engie’s needs, and we’re proud to help bring additional clean, affordable, renewable energy to their customers in Oklahoma and South Dakota.”
ENGIE’s presence in the US renewable energy market is not limited to wind. The firm recently broke ground on the 225MW Long Draw Solar Project in Texas, with operations due to begin in summer 2020. Long Draw is the biggest solar project in ENGIE’s solar portfolio so far, set to house 800,000 solar panels and serve four Texan municipalities via a power purchase agreement for the full capacity.
“We’re so glad to join with leaders here in Borden County and with our customers to support them in creating new opportunities to diversify their renewable energy sources on a meaningful scale,” said Luis Felipe Birolini, Head of Solar Development at ENGIE North America, at the groundbreaking ceremony. “We look forward to completing the project in the summer of 2020, and to providing zero carbon, affordable energy for years to come.”
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.