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SP Energy networks to supercharge energy projects with share of £300m green economic recovery funding

Posted: 8th February 2021

SP Energy Networks has launched a call for energy projects to apply for financial support from a revolutionary new green recovery fund.

The electricity network operator has joined forces with fellow energy companies across the UK to unlock up to £300million of funding to support green energy projects over the next two years.

Working closely with Ofgem, Energy Networks Association (ENA) members have jointly created plans to unlock early investment in the grid to help support green energy infrastructure projects that will help accelerate uptake of the technologies of tomorrow, such as electric heating and electric vehicles.

Tens of millions of pounds of funding is allocated for investment in each distribution network license area, which will be used to fast-track green developments and directed to the most efficient and impactful projects.

As outlined in the UK, Scottish and Welsh Governments’ plans for economic recovery the green industrial revolution will play a major role in the country’s recovery from COVID-19. The green recovery fund will help create new jobs in the supply chain in each local area where the funding is invested.

Craig Arthur, SP Distribution Director for Central & Southern Scotland at SP Energy Networks, said: “We’re proud to be leading the way when it comes to green economic recovery. We’re working on a number of exciting projects across the country to futureproof our network and help progress towards the country’s ambitious net zero targets.

Craig Arthur

“For example, in Dunfermline there are lots of new housing developments which require network reinforcement. In that area we’ve had to prepare for the uptake of low carbon technologies by analysing where investment will be most needed in our network and work with Fife Council to align with their plans. Projects like that create jobs for local people as we make these upgrades to the system.

“We’re already planning for additional capacity to support electric bus charging in key locations like Glasgow or Edinburgh. And in Alloa we are working with the local council to help ensure the town is ready for their electric vehicle roll out. Our priority is working with local communities to ensure the network is capable of supporting their local ambitions.

SP Energy Networks is looking for ‘shovel-ready’ projects within its areas that will help support the country’s move towards cleaner, greener energy. Examples include the installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, heat pumps and solar technology.

Delivering zero carbon emission projects will mean substituting fossil fuels for clean, renewable energy generated from sources like wind and solar power.

Liam O’Sullivan, SP Manweb Director at SP Energy Networks, said: “It’s essential that we progress green energy projects now to support our economic recovery and the clean energy solutions of tomorrow.

Liam O’Sullivan

“A great example is our work in Formby to upgrade properties with a looped electrical service connection. When the technology was installed it was normal to use the same service cable for multiple properties but now everyone is moving towards low carbon technologies, we’ve had to complete upgrade works to enable future connections to be added.

“We’re also working with Transport for Wales to introduce electric vehicle chargers in carparks at train stations and bus depots. These are just two example of the many projects we’re supporting as we push forward towards Net Zero emissions targets.”

Jonathan Brearley, Chief Executive of Ofgem, said: “With the clock ticking on the UK’s race to hit net zero carbon emissions, we cannot afford to delay in building a clean energy infrastructure that will help power our transport and heat our homes emissions-free.

“We’re urging electricity network companies to come forward with fresh new sites for green investment, starting work quickly, to help kick start the green recovery.”

The call for evidence can be found at energynetworks.org/greenrecovery and will be open from Monday 8 February for six weeks until 19 March at 5pm.

Sites approved for investment will be announced in early May with the planning and construction phase beginning shortly thereafter.

SP Energy Networks owns and manages overhead and underground powerlines in Central and Southern Scotland as well as Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales and North Shropshire.

For more information on SP Energy Networks, please visit: http://www.spenergynetworks.co.uk/pages/green_recovery_investment.aspx

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