Aug 15, 2016

Work to begin on 299MW English biomass project

Admin
2 min
Australian investment bank Macquarie Group has said that a £900 million funding round for a massive biomass-fuelled combined heat and power (CH...

Australian investment bank Macquarie Group has said that a £900 million funding round for a massive biomass-fuelled combined heat and power (CHP) plant in North East England is complete.

Works on the £650 million, 299MW green power plant are now due to begin more than seven years after it was initially proposed. Construction of the plant, at Teesport near Middlesbrough, is set to be complete in 2020. A further £250 million has been raised for the facility’s working capital and operating costs.  

The plant will be fuelled by roughly 2.5 million tonnes of sustainably-sourced wood chips per year and will generate enough electricity to power 600,000 homes in the region.  

Macquarie will own 50 percent of the Tees Renewable Energy Plant, while Danish pension fund PKA will own the remaining half. MGT Power, a UK-based biomass developer, and Macquarie are partnering on financing the project.

Some 600 people will be employed to build the facility, and 100 operational posts will be created once construction is complete.

"The project has had to overcome many hurdles,” said MGT Chief Executive Ben Elsworth. “But we have now successfully reached the next stage despite the difficult financing environment.

"We can't wait to get work started on site and make this project a huge success for Teesside."

According to MGT, the Tees Renewable Energy Plant will save about 1.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year by displacing coal and natural gas generation.

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May 13, 2021

All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency

schools
energyefficiency
Renewables
Dominic Ellis
2 min
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only UK regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil

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.

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