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Network Update – October 2015
Welcome to October’s Network Update. This month: Meet Go-Ahead; Weather Memory Bank; Tendering Masterclass; Sussex solar farms; ESOS leeway; Wakehurst Place tour; FITs petition; Earthship crowd-funding and 7.6 billion plastic bags!
Meet MetroBus, Southern Railway & Govia Thameslink
The Go-Ahead Group, parent company of MetroBus, Govia Thameslink, Southern Railway and Brighton & Hove Buses, use over 2,500 suppliers to provide services from construction works to cleaning and maintenance. Join us in Crawley to meet members of their bus and rail teams and to find out how they select the businesses they work with. 23rd October, Crawley Civic Hall. 08:00 to 10:00, free to attend, breakfast included. Full details.
Also coming up… Tendering Masterclass – 5th November, Crawley
And if you are keen to sell to the public sector don’t miss November’s free seminar designed to help you efficiently and effectively find and complete tender responses. Includes a Q&A session with a member of the Crawley, Mid Sussex and Horsham joint procurement team. Full details.
The Sustainable Business Network’s programme of business breakfasts and specialist seminars is run on behalf of the University of Brighton’s Green Growth Platform.
Council plugs in solar farm, villagers to build another!
West Sussex County Council’s 5 MWp solar farm started feeding electricity into the National Grid last week. The £5.2 million project, which generates enough energy to power 1,500 homes, will earn £13.2 million in Feed-in-Tariff payments over the next 20 years. Sheep happily graze around the panels.
Residents of Balcombe, the village famous for resisting the fracking companies, have their own solar ambitions. With planning permission granted earlier this month, the installation of a 4.8 MWp community owned solar farm is due to start in early 2016. If you would like to invest in the project, sign-up on their website to be informed when their crowd funding campaign begins.
Coming up: Wakehurst Place Case Study Visit
On the roof of the Millennium Seed Bank at Wakehurst Place sits a 50 kWp solar PV system. Inside, to reduce electricity demand, LED lighting, voltage optimisation and energy efficient equipment have been fitted. The walk-in cold rooms for example, which store seeds from 13% of the world’s wild plant species, use as little as 1 kWh of electricity per hour to keep the temperature at -20ºC.
On the 19th November join us for a behind-the-scenes tour, led by the Wakehurst Sustainability Committee. It’s free to attend but places are limited. Details & bookings.
Part of the Green Growth Platform events programme.
ESOS enforcement not to start until 29th January 2016
The Environment Agency have announced that they will not begin taking action against large companies who miss the upcoming 5th December deadline to comply with the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme until the 29th January 2016 (or the 30th June 2016 for those using ISO 50001 as their method of compliance). After this, fines start at £5,000 plus an additional £500 per day until compliance is achieved.
Plastic bags – in numbers!
From the 5th October larger retailers in England were required to start charging at least 5p per single use carrier bag. Based on statistics from Wales where the levy was introduced in 2011, around a 70% reduction in the number of bags used each year could be expected – from 7.6 billion to 2.2 billion! This is equivalent to 36,900 tonnes of plastic, plus could raise over £500 million for charity. Only retailers with over 250 employees must comply however.
Thank you! What an exciting month…
Many thanks to all 138 of you who have attended an event over the past month, run in partnership with the Green Growth Platform.
We hope you have enjoyed… meeting Mitie; honing your tendering technique; touring Arlington Waterworks; going behind the scenes at Roffey Park; learning about crowd funding and exploring just what makes a building sustainable. Reports and presentations can be found on the news pages of our website. See you at another event soon!
Weather Memory Bank – View on-line
Public perceptions of weather and climate change.
Work commences at Rampion Wind Farm – Press release
Seabed boulders shifted. On-shore substation constructions begins.
South Downs Car Free Travel Grants – Details
Between £250 and £5,000 available for projects promoting car-free travel in the National Park.
Crowd-funding call: Brighton Earthship – Visit website
Help purchase a rainwater filtration system, batteries for solar energy storage and a vegetable oil back-up generator for the iconic, off-grid, low-carbon building.
Feed-in-Tariff petition – Sign on-line
100,000 signatures will force a debate in Parliament on the planned cuts to solar subsidies.