homenews and insights cambridgeshire county council announces energy partners to pave regions way

Cambridgeshire County Council announces energy partners to pave region’s way to net zero

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By SSE Energy Solutions
02 March 2021

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SSE Enterprise and Bouygues Energies & Services have been named preferred partners to develop a series of framework energy projects intended to support Cambridgeshire County Council and its regional local authority partners in meeting their commitment to decarbonising the region by 2050.

SSE Enterprise and Bouygues Energies & Services shall work as a consortium to deliver for the framework. The joint venture will see the two partners work on the design, construction and delivery of projects to help the county reach its goal of 100 percent clean energy and net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The estimated value of projects planned under the framework is £80 million over its four-year term. Projects will include work to improve the energy performance of publicly owned assets, such as buildings and car parks, using measures to boost energy efficiency and generate low or zero carbon energy from rural estate, transport and other assets.

Other projects will explore opportunities for energy storage and low carbon heating solutions, including district and community heating schemes.

In transport, the framework will look at local opportunities to support the transition to electric vehicles through the provision of essential infrastructure such as EV charging points and hubs.

As part of the green economic recovery envisaged following the Covid-19 pandemic, Cambridgeshire County Council and its local authority partners intend to leverage the framework to generate additional business opportunities that will develop low carbon and smart communities.

Equally, the local authorities wish to achieve annual energy savings through innovative smart building solutions to decarbonise their buildings via a combination of energy efficiency and zero carbon generation technologies.

The decarbonisation of heating forms part of the ambitions for the energy projects developed under the framework and will also improve air quality and reduce pollution across the region.

In 2017, Cambridgeshire emitted more than 6.1 million tonnes of CO2, almost half of which came from homes and buildings. Schools, housing, transport, public buildings and farm estates will be targeted for carbon reductions in the new framework.

Green measures already implemented by Cambridgeshire County Council include investment in the generation of renewable heat and electricity and the installation of Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS). Together, these initiatives have generated annual savings and additional revenue in excess of £1.3 million and reduced the county’s annual carbon emissions by almost 7,000 tonnes.

In the three years since it began operations, the 12MW solar farm located on the outskirts of Soham has exceeded expectations, raising several hundred thousand pounds of excess revenue beyond it’s targeted generation that has been reinvested to fund Adult Social Care services.

The new framework will build on these achievements, extending the reach and scale of local energy initiatives and accelerating the county’s path to carbon neutrality.

Under the agreement, SSE Enterprise and Bouygues Energies & Services will work with five Cambridgeshire authorities: Cambridgeshire County Council, Cambridge City Council, Fenland District Council, Huntingdonshire District Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council.

The framework will also be available to other local authorities in England thanks to an access agreement arrangement. The value of projects which may be undertaken under the access agreement is estimated to be up to an additional £30 million over the four-year period.

SSE Enterprise and Bouygues Energies & Services were chosen as service providers due to their combined ability in developing local smart energy systems specifically designed to help councils cut energy bills and provide green heat and electricity. It is believed that by adopting a whole systems approach that encompasses a series of initiatives, the framework can affect rapid reductions in carbon emissions and pollution.

The strategic stakeholders of the SSE Enterprise and Bouygues Energies & Services consortium said: “Cambridgeshire is one of the fastest growing counties in the country and will be an important growth engine for the UK’s post-Covid economy. Home to a thriving tech scene, world-leading research community and beautiful and historic scenery, it’s an ideal location to demonstrate how local authorities can support the development of low carbon communities. This ambitious framework will deliver energy solutions that will help the region on its journey to net zero.”