Tag Archives: Kingston

How London’s giant floating solar farm was put together

23 March 2016: A new BBC London TV news story providing some added background to Europe’s biggest floating solar farm which is being built in south west London.

The project:

  • Took three months to build
  • Is installed at the Queen Elizabeth Reservoir at Walton on Thames, just outside of Kingston, and is the size of eight football pitches
  • Consists of 23,000 solar panels attached to floats allowing the panels to sit on the water
  • Will contribute to Thames Water target to generate 33% of its energy demand from renewable energy by 2020
  • Has had to be installed quickly to meet the 31 March 2016 deadline for large solar projects under the Government’s Renewable Obligation policy.
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London’s floating solar array – video

17 March 2016: There has rightly been a lot of press around an innovative floating PV array which is currently being constructed in the west of London near Heathrow. The project has been covered in The Guardian, BBC,  and a helpful video visiting the site has just recently been posted online by EnergyLiveNews.

Details of the solar array follow below:

  • The project is being funded and developed by Lightsource and Ennoviga for Thames Water (see their press release here)  at their Queen Elizabeth II reservoir, near Walton-on-Thames, in Surrey.
  • The array will consist of 23,000 solar panels with a total generating capacity of 6.3MW
  • The electricity will be used to part power Thames Water’s nearby water treatment works
  • It’s not the first floating solar farm in the UK – that’s a United Utilities project in Manchester – but it is the biggest such scheme in Europe.
  • Treehugger usefully mentions that “…the water keeps the solar panels cool, which helps the solar panels to perform better and last longer and the water itself benefits from the panels being there. In the case of reservoirs, the panels block out sunlight so it keeps algae growth to a minimum and reduces water evaporation to keep the reservoirs full.”

This project goes to highlight the hugely flexible nature of solar and the huge potential for PV that could exist across the capital across many sites when properly supported.

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40 ESCO deals signed through RE:FIT programme

June 2014: A response by the Mayor to a question this month provides details that, of the 125 public sector organisations working with the RE:FIT programme, 40 have so far signed energy service deals through the GLA’s RE:FIT procurement framework.  Local authorities signed up to RE:FIT include Harrow, Ealing, Sutton, Enfield, Merton and Camden. A full list of the 40 organisation is provided here (though, confusingly, a few organisations are mentioned more than once – so not it’s not clear if the list is less than 40 – or these organisations have signed more than one deal with an ESCO partner…?).

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Energy and Climate Questions to the Mayor

June 2014: This month the Mayor has been asked questions in relation to:

Energy efficiency in the private rented sector; carbon offsets used by new developments;
How much energy is produced in London by decentralised energy systems;
heat recovery from London’s buildings; meetings with London community energy groups; total spend by the Mayor on domestic energy efficiency programmes;
Mayoral action following the publication of the government’s Community Energy Strategy; energy companies supporting the Mayor’s License Lite application;
progress against the Mayor’s decentralised energy target; the government’s new Urban Energy Fund; money spent by the London Energy Efficiency Fund (LEEF);
hospitals using the Mayor’s RE:FIT programme; visits to the Kingston heat pump development; visits to the London Array Wind Farm; Ofgem approval of the Mayor’s License Lite application; local authorities using RE:FIT; the Mayor’s first license lite supply deal; feedback from the C40 Johannesburg summit; consumer redress to high heat charges on district heating networks;
ESCO deals signed under the Mayor’s RE:FIT programme; Mayoral support for the Green Deal in London’; Green Deal Communities Fund; costs associated with applying to DECC’s Green Deal Communities Fundgreen jobs created by Mayoral programmes;
low carbon sector jobs created; attracting green investment into London; the Mayor’s High Level Electricity Working Group;

Previous months questions to the Mayor can be found here.

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Barking & Dagenham most energy efficient local authority in UK

November 2013: A news release from Imperial College highlights a recent study examining the energy consumption of all 198 urban local authorities in the UK, including 33 boroughs in London.  Dr James Keirstead has developed a “new method that draws on three different measures of energy efficiency, currently used by city planners, to create the ranking. The aim was to find the fairest methodology for determining energy efficiency that could give planners an improved way of spotting best practice, leading to more energy efficient and sustainable policies in the future.”

“The London boroughs of Barking and Dagenham and Hackney topped the league table of all UK urban areas analysed in the study…This may be because both are low income areas, equating to lower energy usage. Residents of those areas are also more reliant on public transport and these boroughs lack energy-intensive manufacturing and commerce, which may also be other factors that explain why consumption is lower.”

The news report is a very short summary of a detailed research paper published by Dr Keirstead in technical journal Energy Policy (which unfortunately has a price tag associated with downloading the paper). The table from the paper providing a ranking of UK local authorities by average energy efficiency score is reproduced below:

Other London boroughs within the top 10 are Hackney, Merton, Redbridge and Kingston. Oddly, the top two ranked London councils are both within inner London, however, the remaining three in the 10 are all suburban local authorities.

Local authorities in England have now reported to Government on energy efficiency activities in their area in HECA update reports – for more of which, see here.

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Innovative Kingston heat pump scheme

November 2013: Local MP and Secretary of State for Energy, Ed Davey, recently opened a novel heat source pump scheme providing heating to a residential scheme in Kingston drawn from the Thames.   An article in Renewable Energy Installer sets out that “Just 200 metres from the river bank, its 2.3MW community heating system draws up to 13 million litres of water each day through high efficiency heat exchangers. The low grade heat is carried to a plant room in the building via a closed loop where Mitsubishi Ecodan heat pumps delivers it as usable heat to meet all heating and hot water demands in the complex.”

A huge amount of background detail to this novel scheme can be read in trade journal Modern Building Systems here. Mitsibushi have described the scheme as “one of the most impressive in Europe if not the world. This is a pioneering installation and hugely innovative.”

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Green Deal & ECO in London – six months in

September 2013: Following the publication of the first quarterly set of detailed Green Deal and ECO (Energy Company Obligation) data back in July (details of which are outlined in the following post here) DECC has now published the much anticipated second quarter’s data set on 19 September 2013 (press release here).

In contrast to the regular monthly DECC datasets, the quarterly data provides a regional breakdown of  i.Green Deal assessments undertaken ii. ECO measures installed and data on iii. Green Deal cashback vouchers offered, allowing some idea of how the Government’s new energy efficiency regime is progressing in London.

Continue reading…

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£11m awarded to London energy programmes

January 2013: Responding to a competition launched last October, DECC have just announced that 132 projects have won a share of £46 million of funding. The three strands of the funds were  “to help reduce fuel poverty, boost energy efficiency, and encourage collective switching and purchasing in regions across Great Britain.” The full press release is here and boroughs successful (and amounts awarded) can be downloaded here, and shows London did well with a total of £11m worth of projects selected. These were:

Fuel Poverty

  • Barnet (£107,500)
  • Waltham Forest (£97,000)
  • Tower Hamlets (£2,254,000)
  • Camden (£407,500)
  • Brent (£102,000)
  • Hillingdon (£106,500)
  • Hounslow (£706,000)
  • GLA together with 18 London boroughs (£5,360,421)

Green Deal Pioneer Places

  • Brent (£153,000)
  • Camden (£120,180)
  • Hounslow (£262,000)
  • Haringey (£275,200)
  • GLA together with 18 London boroughts (£266,921)

Cheaper Energy Together Funding

  • Tower Hamlets (£37,351)
  • Kingston upon Thames with 16 London boroughs (£686,655)

Little information is available at the moment on what exactly these various schemes will do in their respective areas, however, some  guidance released when the competition was launched provides details of what this funding is supposed to be delivering.

London Councils reports that the last of the collective energy purchasing schemes, where Kingston Council is the lead borough, will help “Vulnerable residents in up to 1.75 million homes across London will be offered assistance by their local council to get a better energy deal and save money.” DECC’s Secretary of State, Ed Davey, is hugely supportive of such collective purchasing deals (see here and here), and promoted such programmes in his former role at the Department of Business (BIS). He’s also the MP for Kingston and Surbiton, so it’s not surprising that his local council undertook a strong role in this competition.

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Community Consultation on proposed energy from waste plant

6 March 2012: The Croydon Guardian reports that: “The company that wants to build a major incinerator in Beddington has announced its programme of community consultation on its plans.
Waste company Viridor has revealed details of the facility on its landfill and waste management site in Beddington Lane, which will create energy from burning 275,000 tonnes of waste each year.
The £200m project, which will handle not only waste from Sutton, Croydon, Kingston, and Merton, but also large amounts of business waste.
By burning non-recyclable waste to create steam to power turbines, the incinerator is expected to produce about 30 megawatts of electricity and heat energy, estimated to be enough to power 30,000 homes.” Read the full story here. Previous Croydon Guardian stories can be seen here and here and here.

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Carbon and Energy Fund

July 2011: The Carbon and Energy Fund is a new £100M+ fund that is the sucessor to the Energy and Sustainability fund. The fund exists to fund and support projects in the NHS that meet a certain level of carbon savings per £1000 of investment required. Five projects worth £23m have signed up to tranche 1. This tranche is full and enters mini-competition in July 2011. The Fund intends to facilitate the delivery of 60 upgrades for NHS Trusts over the next 4 years in a series of tranches – details of the next funding tranche are here.
A number of London-based case studies of energy saving actions previously taken are available including:
Royal Free Hospital, London
Natural History Museum and Victoria & Albert Museum London
Kingston Hospital

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Behaviour Change and Energy use

7 July 2011: The Cabinet Office’s Behavioural Insights Team published a report yesterday setting out how behavioural insights can be used to help people save energy and money. The report, Behaviour Change and Energy Use, launches a series of trials and “changes to government policy” (not sure what these are though…) which will make it easier for individuals to green their homes and use less energy. Several of these trials are based in London including:

  • How social networks might be harnessed to support the uptake of domestic energy efficiency measures. In partnership with B&Q and Kingston and Merton councils – a trial will run to test the impact of offering energy efficiency products and services at varying levels of discount depending on how many people opt in to the offer. In this trial, homeowners in Merton will be offered a discount on B&Q energy-efficient products such as loft and cavity wall insulation. People will be incentivised to encourage others in their local community to take up the offer with them –discounts for each household range from 10% fortwo households, to 15% for three households and25% for five households.Merton Council will highlight this through community engagement, also raising awareness about the discounted energy-efficient products by marketing the deal in their own local publications. The trial will be conducted between September and December 2011. To determine the effectiveness of this intervention, Kingston Council will act as a control where householders will be offered standard, non-discounted green products.
  • Testing the impact of helping to remove the ‘hassle factor’, specifically investigating whether minimising the hassle associated with loft clearance will encourage the uptake of loft insulation. B&Q and the London Borough of Sutton are currently discussing the terms of a trial which will test the effectiveness of offering a subsidised loft-clearing service in conjunction with loft insulation.
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Kingston

Kingston’s Energy Strategy 2nd AIP 2010/11 to 2012/13
Kingston’s Energy Strategy 3rd AIP 2011/12 to 2013/14
Kingston Council Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report  – July 2011
Energy Strategy Annual Implementation Plan 2010 – 2013 Year 2 September 2010
Kingston Low Carbon Management Plan March 2010
Kingston Energy Strategy April 2009

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