A successful night at the Scottish Renewables Green Energy Awards
There were many celebrations taking place in Edinburgh recently as the Green Energy Awards came to a close, but one award stood out from the crowd. A recent collaboration between North Ayrshire Council and ourselves gifted us with the ‘Sustainable Scotland Award’ for our outstanding work on a North Ayrshire Solar PV Framework, worth a massive £2.2m. The award also included HWEnergy for their biomass heat rollout programme and Enterprise for their CareShare Scheme.
The Green Energy Awards is a prestigious event that recognises determination and innovation in the renewable energy sector. It is organised by Scottish Renewables, a leading voice of the industry, who also celebrated their 20th anniversary at the event. Award winners were announced on 1st December at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC), with the event hosted by the famous English comedian and actor Miles Jupp and overseen by Scottish Renewables chairman Patricia Hawthorn.
The Sustainable Scotland Award is given to those who display outstanding deployment of renewable energy by a non-energy business, charity or public body to cut costs, carbon or both. This is a significant achievement given the current state of the renewables sector with the constant subsidy cuts and tax hikes, and highlights the strong support for solar even in the face of such adversity.
The framework that helped win the award included a 2MW solar PV installation across 28 council owned properties; including a leisure centre, community centre and a variety of local schools. Included within the installation was a bespoke real-time monitoring solution which was fitted with an on-site weather station. This system allows both the schools and the council to monitor system performances, this will benefit the schools especially as the system can be introduced within the school curriculum allowing the pupils to view energy generation in real-time and the physical benefits of renewable energy.
The solar arrays installed range from 20kW to 250kW, a system this size is expected to produce around 1,600MWh per annum, equating to a reduction of 790,400kg of CO₂ a year. Irvine Royal Academy was the largest installation with a 250kW array covering around 2,000sqm, which is also the largest solar PV array to be installed on a school in Scotland. The project by North Ayrshire also included a car share scheme to encourage low-carbon behaviour among staff and a biomass heat rollout programme. This is a huge leap towards a more sustainable city and North Ayrshire Council’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions.