Northumbrian Water agrees €41 million deal for sustainable biogas plant support.
UK water company Northumbrian Water awards Imtech N.V. a €41 million contract to supply the technology solution behind an advanced biogas plant in Howdon.
Technical services provider Imtech specialises in the treatment of biosolids – which is the by-product of sewage and wastewater treatment. The company treats, cleans and enriches sludge using a sustainable method – Advanced Anaerobic Digestion, allowing it to be recycled as biofuel.
This process – taking sludge and turning it into energy, occurs at innovative biogas plants such as the newly constructed Anglian Water and Welsh Water biogas plants in Cardiff and Afan. These are two of the most efficient plants in the UK and are capable of generating more than 6MW (megawatts) of sustainable electricity which is either used on the wastewater treatment works, or returned to the grid if there is surplus energy.
Northumbrian Water‘s new biogas plant in Howdon is expected to generate over 4MW of electricity each year, significantly boosting supplies.
Vestas has won a contract to supply wind turbines to EDF Energy’s Fallago Rig windfarm in the Scottish borders and so create another source of renewable energy.
Vestas will supply 48 turbines to the EDF Energy onshore windfarm in the Lammermuir Hills. The Fallago Rif project is being built by North British Windpower and once completed it should generate around 144MW of renewable electricity.
Vestas said in a statement “Vestas can confirm that we have entered into an agreement with EDF Energy renewables regarding a wind power project in Scotland”.
Meanwhile a North British Windpower spokesman said the deal with Vestas will mean that construction will begin in 2011 and it should be generating renewable energy within the next two years.
Utility Exchange reported in November that the Fallago Rig wind project had been given the go-ahead despite several public enquiries and a great deal of opposition to the scheme.
ENER-G Opens new offices in the Midlands as it expands its energy management division.
This move sees energy solutions provider ENER-G reinforcing its commitment to the UK energy services market.
There are four companies that make up ENER-G’s energy management division; ENER-G Procurement, ENER-G Controls, ENER-G Efficiency and CMR Consultants and they will all be based at the new offices in Studley, Warwickshire.
Its purpose is to provide holistic energy management solutions, including energy, carbon and water consultancy, energy procurement, metering and data management and bureau services. Plus, energy saving technologies, like air conditioning, energy management systems and high-efficiency lighting.
Mark Alston, general manager procurement, explained to customers that energy purchasing had changed due to the worsening economy and that businesses should keep an eye on the markets to compare against their current risk management strategy.
Stephen Walshaw, head of data services, further added that once a business has established its purchasing strategy, it needs to make sure that the bills it receives are correct;
“Around 15% of bills received are inaccurate” he stated, and that is costing businesses hundreds of thousands of pounds every year!”
Regulators say that only 1 in 3 British North Sea oil and gas platforms were actually in good physical condition when they were inspected and their comments have led to warnings that workers are being put at risk.
The inspections by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) over the last three years, found that 96% of installations needed improvements and as many as 20% had “major failings” raising concerns that workers were being put at risk.
According to the regulator the oil companies are now focused on preventing major offshore oil spills like the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico earlier this year – so much so that they are not dealing with the general maintenance of oil and gas rigs.
Consequently, the HSE has said that it will carry out further inspections on rigs that have performed poorly to ensure they have carried out improvements. Some platforms haven’t yet been inspected for corrosion and they will also receive a visit from the HSE.
The head of offshore for the HSE, Steve Walker, said not keeping on top of general maintenance may be a contributing factor in major incidents and therefore should not be forgotten about.
Only this year a North Sea gas platform was damaged by fire and investigations found that it was caused by a corroded ring which then led to a leak.
Mr Walker said “Offshore installations that progressively deteriorate and corrode, with hazardous walkways and poorly supported pipes or other infrastructure are not only putting workers at risk of serious injury, but in the event of a major incident can exacerbate the consequences”.
Meanwhile the director of Oil and Gas UK, Robert Paterson, said that staying on top of corrosion was a never ending task in the North Sea and that the oil and gas industry was “determined to stay on top” of it.
Some businesses are still unaware of the savings they could be making on their business electricity prices and business gas prices.
One of the best ways to save your business money is to compare the market of energy suppliers and switch suppliers in order to benefit from better rates.
Here are some useful hints and tips on how to save energy and significantly reduce your gas and electricity bills.
1. Switch to a dual fuel tariff – Energy companies often offer significant discounts for getting both your gas and electricity from the same supplier.
2. Pay your utility bills by direct debit – Gas and Electricity suppliers usually offer discounts to customers paying by monthly direct debit. An average household paying for a standard energy tariff by direct debit could save around £98 a year – compared to paying by cash or cheque.
3. Sign up to an online plan – Often the most competitive plan on the market with average savings over £200 when compared to a standard plan.
4. Fix your energy prices – If price rises are on the horizon, it is worth considering a fixed-price plan. However, they may cost a premium and have early exit penalties – so check all the details of the plan before signing up.
5. Discuss your tariff – Ask your current provider if you are on their cheapest deal – If not, see if they will switch you.
6. Become more energy efficient – by reducing the cost of and the amount of energy you use can help to significantly help reduce bills. Turning the thermostat down by just 1°C could save as much as 10% on your annual heating bills; Invest in cheap but effective roof insulation; Only heat the rooms you use the most; close curtains / blinds in the evenings to keep the heat in; and reduce draughts around doors.
7. Consider the impact of energy-sapping devices – where possible do not leave electrical appliances on standby – a computer in “sleep” mode still uses up to 75% of its energy. Turn off lights and appliances when you are no longer in the room or using them; do not overfill your kettle; and switch to energy-saving light bulbs.