Cutting edge technology and innovation is at the heart of an impressive 2014 shortlist for the prestigious annual Green Energy Awards, organised by Regen SW.
The shortlist was compiled from a record flood of over 100 nominations for inspiring companies, projects and people pioneering the development of sustainable energy in the south west of England. The winners will be announced at a glittering awards ceremony and dinner attended by over 300 industry leadings that is held in Bath Assembly Room on 25 November.
The shortlisted nominees (listed below) will now go through to the final stage of judging, where an expert panel of judges, including Stephen Fitzpatrick, CEO of Ovo Energy, James Vaccaro, head of market and corporate development at Triodos Bank and Lord Robin Teverson, will select this year's winners.
Merlin Hyman, chief executive of Regen SW, said: "With so many fantastic nominations the judges will have a difficult task in selecting the winners. What stands out from this year's shortlist is that the south west continues to lead the development of renewables, delivering innovation both in products and also in new collaborative development models with local communities."
Shortlisted nominees are as follow:
MOST PROACTIVE PUBLIC SECTOR BODY
1. Frome Town Council
Frome Town Council is putting sustainability at the top of their agenda: they employ an Energy and Recycling Officer and are committed to working towards zero carbon as part of their new
Neighbourhood Plan. As founder members of Frome Renewable Energy Co-op, they will soon be installing solar panels on community buildings and a micro-hydro scheme.
2. Plymouth City Council
Plymouth City Council has put strong political commitment and leadership at the heart of their work in fuel poverty and climate change agendas. They have shown the potential of partnership work with the local community by setting up and supporting Plymouth Energy Community and PEC Renewables.
3. University Hospitals Bristol
University Hospitals Bristol recognise a strong link between a healthy environment and human health. They have a number of green energy projects at different stages including solar panels on estate buildings, a sustainable behaviour campaign and a combined heat and power system.
CosyDevon is a unique partnership between Devon County Council, Torbay Council, The Energy Saving Trust and Eon. CosyDevon aims to reduce fuel poverty and improve health, create local jobs and economic benefits and reduce carbon through a substantial improvement in energy efficiency of its housing stock.
BEST RENEWABLE ENERGY SCHEME
1. Team Green
With 14 acres of strawberries grown undercover at Bower Farm, Bridgwater, heating costs are the highest after labour costs. The installation of a 540 kW and a 300 kW chip boiler enabled the business to meet their energy demands in a sustainable way, gain significant income from the RHI and make the most of the earlier premium strawberry market.
Says Court Farm was the first large-scale solar farm approved in South Gloucestershire, delivering 17.3 MW of renewable electricity to the grid, it provides enough energy to power 5,400 households, saving up to 9,400 tonnes of CO2 each year. Engaging with the community and focusing on biodiversity has been at the heart of the project.
In less than a year GENeco has completed the design and build of the UK's first commercial Gas-to-Grid supply of biomethane produced from waste. The Avonmouth site uses anaerobic digestion to extract the remaining energy within food waste, liquid waste and sewage. After purification it is pumped into the national gas distribution network providing enough energy to power 12,000 homes a year.
4. A&P and Seatricity
A&P and Seatricity have together produced a renewable wave energy convertor Oceanus 2 and connected it to Wave Hub. Energy is provided by pressurised sea water pumped through a motor to convert into electrical power. A desalination process is also attainable. An array of 60 devices will deliver 10 MW of sustainable power, enough for 10,000 homes.
SUSTAINABLE ENERGY INSTALLER OR SUPPLIER OF THE YEAR
Solarsense has delivered more than 150 on-roof installations with over 2 MW total capacity, including the UK's first and second largest single-site Local Authority renewable systems. Domestic installations are now 100 per cent generated by referral. Repeat commercial business continues with multiple installations for Bristol Zoo, National Composites Centre, Glastonbury Festival and the Duchy of Cornwall.
2. Kensa Heat Humps
The Kensa Group comprises the UK's leading manufacturer of ground source heat pumps, as identified in BSRIA Market Reports 2013 and 2014, and the SW's leading GSHP installer having performed more than 500 installations in the region over the past two years.
3. Source Energy
In 2013, Source Energy installed 44 air source heat pumps and 19 ground source heat pumps. They have expanded their services nationally over the past 12 months and opened an office in Scotland, doubling the number of manufacturers they work with.
4. SunGift Solar
During 2013-2014, SunGift Solar installed over 200 systems and increased installation capacity from 2.1 MW to 3.1 MW (up 43 per cent from the previous year and 90 per cent from 2011-2012 figures). SunGift Solar are YouGen's most recommended UK installer.
5. Lightsource Renewable Energy
Lightsource Renewable Energy, the largest developer and operator of solar farms in the south west, has forged strong relationships with communities across the south west and employed bespoke biodiversity management plans.
SOUTH WEST SUSTAINABLE ENERGY CHAMPION
1. Ross Fairley
Ross Fairley, environmental lawyer at Burges Salmon, has spent 20 years advising on energy law and has been described as 'a pre-eminent authority on renewables, waste and contaminated land issues'. He sits on RenewableUK's Wave and Tidal Energy Strategy Group and is on the Board of UK's first "Marine Energy Park", announced by the Minister Greg Barker.
2. Kate Royston
Kate Royston is the volunteer coordinator of Transition Tavistock, the lead of its energy group, the chair of the South West Devon Community Energy Partnership (SWDCEP) and a member of the Heart of the South West Low Carbon Group.
3. Pete Capener
Pete has been instrumental in supporting the community energy movement both in the south west directly through his work with Bath and West Community Energy and through his national influencing work. Pete undertakes his board roles in his spare time.
4. Professor Lars Johanning
Professor Johanning has been instrumental in working with marine energy device developers, bringing them to the south west. He has established the south west's links to major networks and national initiatives such as ORE Catapult, the ID Core, the UK CMER, SWMEP and PRIMaRE (where he is the current chair).
BEST BUSINESS INNOVATION
1. Severn Subsea Technologies (SST)
Redruth-based, Severn Subsea Technologies (SST) has developed an integrated telemetry and control system for wave energy devices. Deployed on Seatricity's Oceanus 2 wave power device, the system has generated interest among other wave energy companies nationally.
2. Mojo Maritime
Mojo Maritime have developed the innovative software tool Cable Analysis Software Tool (CAST). It can be used to carry out the detailed planning of cable routes in tidal flows, using areas of naturally occurring protection features to ensure cable stability.
The Supacat Multi-purpose Vessel 24 (DNV 1A1 HSLC R1 Wind Farm Service 1) is the first real multi-role offshore support vessel in its class. The first vessel is operated by James Fisher Marine Services and completed its first job, MetMast servicing, off Dogger Bank.
4. New Generation Biogas (NGB) Ltd
NGB Ltd has developed and launched an anaerobic digestion plant that works at a high temperature (known as a thermophillic system). This results in accelerated digestion rates and high pathogen kill levels, delivers an increase in gas yields by up to 30 per cent compared to low temperature systems, and is autonomous, using innovative control methods to minimise staffing requirements.
5. Argand Solutions
Argand's GRID GEM allows Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) to ensure that their grid assets are not stressed through increased reverse power flows. The GRID GEM has embedded real-time energy and power quality monitoring to provide real-time, web-enabled data to confirm that export limits are not broken.
Fairford have designed an iERS (Intelligent Energy Recovery System) which allows energy to be saved (up to 32 per cent) on lightly loaded electric motors without restricting the motors function. Microprocessors and embedded software further reduce production costs while allowing efficient industrial energy consumption.
BEST COMMUNITY INITIATIVE
1. South Brent Community Energy Society
South Brent Community Energy Society (SBCES) installed a 225 kW wind turbine in August 2013, funded by a community share issue which was open for four months and raised £430,000 largely from local people. SBCES is a registered Industrial and Provident Society.
2. The Green Positive Environmental Action (PEA) Scheme
The Green Positive Environmental Action (PEA) Scheme offers free energy surveys to local organisations within Poole, to offer recommendations of how they can reduce their carbon emissions. To date, the scheme has over 30 members and has delivered savings of £108,418 and 539 tonnes of CO2.
3. Low Carbon Gordano
The directors of this community energy group have worked alongside Bath and West Community Energy to firstly gain planning permission for a large scale solar PV array facility and through a share offer have now raised very close to the £2.2 million required to finance this development.
4. Plymouth Energy Community
Plymouth Energy Community launched Plymouth's first solar share offer in February 2014. The offer closed early, after only seven weeks, raising a total of £602,000 total from 144 investors 50 per cent of which were local. 21 schools and community buildings will have 6000 m2 of free solar PV installed by October with currently 95 per cent of installations complete.
BEST ENERGY EFFICIENCY SCHEME
1. Alliance Homes
Alliance Homes is a community based social enterprise that owns 6,100 properties within North Somerset. As part of their environmental sustainability strategy, they have undertaken a community energy retro-fit scheme to 235 properties in the Bournville area of Weston-Super-Mare which will see a carbon lifetime reduction of 83,859 tonnes and significant saving on tenants' energy bills.
2. Plymouth University
The Campus Information and Control System, developed by Plymouth University, aims to match demand and consumption more accurately, reduce waste and improve building user comfort. The system will provide a significant reduction in carbon emissions, roughly 1000 tonnes CO2.
3. Exeter City Council
Exeter City Council has completed a refurbishment of 3 non-traditional, hard to-treat properties in the St Thomas area to very high standards of thermal efficiency. The refurbishment of these properties acts as a replicable pilot for other housing stock (of similar construction type) in the area.