Mott MacDonald helps complete Gemini wind farm ahead of schedule
The Netherlands’ offshore wind park, Gemini, has been completed ahead of schedule.
The park, which cost 2.8 billion euros, is located in the Dutch North Sea and was overseen by Mott MacDonald which acted as technical advisor and engineer during the two year construction period. The company will continue providing operations monitoring services.
Gemini is comprised of 150 Siemens turbines, each with 4MW capacity – 600MW altogether – which will provide sustainable energy to around 785,000 households. This will make great strides towards helping The Netherlands meet its target of 14 percent renewable energy by 2020, and cut CO2 emissions annually by 1,250,000 tons.
During the project, as lenders’ engineer, Mott MacDonald provided monthly construction monitoring reports to the project’s lenders, advising on progress and mitigating risks associated with health and safety, design, manufacturing, and environment. The consultancy organisation has been working on the project since the beginning, delivering due diligence and helping to achieve a successful financial close.
The Gemini offshore wind park is owned by Northland Power (60 percent), Siemens Financial Services (20 percent), Van Oord Dredging and Marine Contractors BV (10 percent) and N.V. HVC (10 percent).
Christos Kolliatsas, Mott MacDonald’s Project Director, said: “We worked closely with the Gemini team, sponsors and lenders to reach this major milestone ahead of schedule and under budget. Our international experience in offshore wind construction allowed us to highlight risks that could potentially affect the project’s progress and offer advice on methods for mitigating these.”
Matthias Haag, Project Gemini’s Chief Executive Officer, added: “Working with Mott MacDonald continuously for the last three years has been a big benefit for the Gemini project. Their experience and advice helped us to avoid any pitfalls and make the project a success.”
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.