Electricity generation and distribution dominate current events

News editor

Briefing starts the week with a request from National Grid, which is keen to gauge opinions regarding the winning design of October 2011’s Pylon Design Competition.

They tell us that scale models will be on display at its Annual General Meeting and that they will be conducting research with the general public to get a view on which they see as the most aesthetically pleasing.

National Grid will combine its engineering know how with opinions from stakeholders as its progresses the project to develop the T-pylon family.

Cut and paste the following link into your browser if you wish to participate in the process. Note, the survey closes on August 31.


A newspaper campaign entitled Stop the Pylons is currently active at the East Anglian Daily Times in Suffolk.

The campaign opposes the erection of pylons between National Grid’s substation in Bramford, near Ipswich, and a power junction in Twinstead, near Sudbury.

On their website they state: ‘Pylons were first put up across the UK in the 1960s and many feel there should be a more efficient, environmentally friendly and aesthetically pleasing way of conducting power in the 21st century.’

Take a look for yourself by clicking here.

Still with energy and news of Scotland’s renewables industry, which appears to be in the ascendancy.

Scottish Renewables says the nation’s renewable electricity industry has delivered capital investment of £2.8bn since the beginning of 2009, which is claimed to have supported more 11,000 jobs.

At current rates of growth, the sector is expanding by more than 10 per cent a year and is generating 35 per cent of the annual demand.

The figures are part a new series of statistics entitled Scotland’s Renewable Energy Sector in Numbers. Click here to view a table of investment in each renewable sector.

In the Northeast of England Semta has joined South Tyneside Manufacturing Forum to support businesses take on more young people, ‘upskill’ the existing workforce and work together to address the skills challenge in the region.

Research shows that around 8,500 skilled workers are due to retire in the next six years and a further 15,000 employees will need to improve their skills to ensure the north east remains viable.

The region is home to Energi Coast, which represents the area’s offshore renewables sector and steering group member Modus Seabed Intervention is set to start work on a contract for EDF Energy.

The Darlington-based subsea specialist contractor is to provide trenching and survey services to EDF Energy Renewables Teesside Offshore Wind Farm.

The project, the company’s ninth wind farm contract, will see Modus bury 26 inter-array cables and carry out survey work before and after the trenching.

More renewables success in the north east for Chepstow-based Mabey Bridge, which has installed five wind turbines at Seamer wind farm in Teeside.

In addition to manufacturing five 80m-high towers for client REpower, Mabey Bridge installed them, along with nacelles, rotor hubs and blades.

In the oil and gas sector Petrofac has reported a 32 per cent rise in net profits to $325.3m and a 20 per cent rise in revenue to $3.2bn compared with $2.7bn in 2011.

Published today, the company’s interim results show a 21 per cent rise in its interim dividend to $00.21 per share, plus a backlog worth $8.9bn.

BP America Production Company reports that it is selling its Sunray and Hemphill gas processing plants in Texas, along with their associated gas gathering system, to Eagle Rock Energy Partners for $227.5m.

The Sunray plant, in Moore County, and the Hemphill plant, in Hemphill County, are said to have combined processing capacity of approximately 220 million cubic feet of gas a day (mmcf/d) and an associated gathering system of around 2,500 miles of pipelines.

Finally, London’s City Hall hosts Investing in Future Transport this Thursday, an event intended to showcase innovation in transportand highlight investment opportunities in the sector.

A busy agenda includes sessions on future fuels, future engineering, city and transport infrastructure, and future markets. A special session entitled Innovation in Motor Sport will look at fuel efficiency emanating from F1.

More details can be found here.

On a similar note, congratulations are in order for Toyota Motorsport, which has set a new electric record at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado.

They inform us that by using the TMG EV P002 race car, powered by a high-performance TMG electric powertrain, driver Fumio Nutahara set a time of 10 minutes 15.380 seconds, which is a new record for electric vehicles on the 19.99km track.