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Energy independence moves a step closer at Westlakes

Westlakes Science & Technology Park (credit: Adamedia Ltd)

[B]ritain’s Energy Coast (BEC), owners and operators of Westlakes Science & Technology Park, has appointed innovative building and energy contractor Forrest as their chosen partner to the Westlakes Science Park Low Carbon Energy Masterplan.

The appointment is a critical step for BEC as it looks to bring low carbon power generation and export capabilities, together with heat solutions to Westlakes in a bid to minimise the carbon footprint of the site.

Securing this unique project by competing against 17 other organisations during the open tender process, Forrest was selected for the scheme based on technical expertise in addition to their approach to partnering and social value. The team at BEC were particularly impressed by the innovative thinking deployed by Forrest to create a floating solar PV array at Godley Reservoir, capable of generating 2.7 GWh of renewable zero carbon power per year.

BEC CEO, Michael Pemberton, commented: “Following our change in strategic direction last year we have been committed to leading the way in sustainable building and low carbon property issues. We went out to an open market for this project to ensure we brought the best thinking to our doorstep. Forrest’s track record in bringing pioneering projects to fruition, together with our shared values as organisations, made them a great fit. With the property industry responsible or a third of all carbon emissions, the intersection between property and energy has never been under more scrutiny, we want to lead positive industry change with this scheme.”

Joe Martin, Head of Funding & Energy at BEC added: “This is a really exciting first step for us – our ambition for Westlakes Science & Technology Park is to become self-sufficient with renewable energy. This will benefit our customers on the Park and provide resiliency against rising energy prices while reducing our carbon footprint. The Park is at the centre of the Energy Coast and our aim is to ensure that it continues to support the growth and development of the UK’s low carbon energy sector.”

Over the coming months Forrest will be developing the masterplan, based on smart-microgrids and energy technologies, to develop a bespoke route map for the two square mile site. Efficiencies of the existing property portfolio, asset and maintenance plans and future developments will be taken into consideration for a fully integrated solution. This may include distributed energy, building management systems, solar PV, electric vehicles, district heating, energy efficiency measures and demand side response.

With low carbon energy ambitions being key to the delivery of BEC’s business focus and corporate strategy, their ambition for the site is for it to become grid independent for power and heat. Energy storage and demand management will be part of the mix.

Darroch Baker, Divisional Director at Forrest said: “Being selected for this pioneering scheme demonstrates our commitment to working with innovative clients to drive their low carbon objectives. BEC has some really exciting ideas for future energy activity and we’ll be critical in supporting at strategic level to achieve these and recommend new opportunities which have not yet been considered.”

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