Investment in offshore wind farm could supply 250,000 homes with energy
A planned offshore wind farm, located in the North West Irish Sea, has received a “significant investment” from Parkwind, a Belgian offshore wind farm developer.
The strategic partnership between Oriel Windfarm Limited and Parkwind will support the 55 6MW turbine project, creating a farm with the capacity of 330MW. This will provide 250,000 Irish homes with green energy.
As well as producing clean energy, the farm is expected to reduce 600,000 metric tonnes of carbon emissions, and produce more than 1,000 jobs during the construction process.
The partners now aim to fast-track the project, located 22km off the coast of Dundalk, and conclude the construction by the end of 2020.
“In our search for a strategic partner, several international offshore wind players were interested in acquiring a stake in Oriel Wind Farm,” commented Founder and Board Member of the Oriel Wind Farm, Brian Britton.
“We believe that Parkwind can bring in the necessary knowledge and pioneering spirit to bring this project to a successful end,” he added.
Prior to this project, Parkwind has developed and built three offshore windfarms in the Belgian concession zone of the North Sea. The farms have sent about 550MW of energy to Belgium.
Parkwind plans to operate more than 1GW of offshore wind production by 2020.
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.