News Archive

RPS Appointed Ecological Clerk of Works for Scottish Power Renewables Wind Farms Contracts

27 January 2016

RPS Appointed Ecological Clerk of Works for Scottish Power Renewables Wind Farms Contracts

RPS has been awarded contracts to deliver ecological and environmental protection for three large onshore wind farms in southern Scotland. Construction begins this winter and once operational, the projects will add 98 Megawatts of green energy to ScottishPower Renewables’ portfolio.

RPS is providing full-time Ecological Clerk of Works (ECoW) to ensure compliance with wildlife legislation and planning conditions, oversee ecological mitigation and implement pollution prevention over the year-long build out phase. Work will begin with pre-construction checks for sensitive species and habitats, and continue with protection of species, habitats and water quality.

At Hare Hill Extension, the largest of the three developments at 35 turbines, the ECoW will cover tasks ranging from monitoring water quality, to ensuring local private water supplies are protected and overseeing the creation of foraging habitat for the local population of black grouse, a species that is one of the UK’s highest bird conservation priorities.

The ECoW role is increasingly a planning requirement for major infrastructure projects.

‘Our approach is to help clients and contractors integrate their environmental obligations from the outset. This prevents delays and ensures construction schedules are met, as well as legal requirements’ said Dr. Simon Zisman, RPS’ Director of Ecology in Scotland. ‘Part of what makes Scotland special is the wildlife, and that, together with rough terrain and high rainfall make the ECoW role so important’

RPS provides ECoW services on a large number of wind farm and major infrastructure projects, including the dualling of the A9 between Kincraig and Dalraddy, and Carraig Gheal Wind Farm in West Argyll.

Ends

Notes to editors:

RPS is a world leading multi-disciplinary consultancy with unrivalled knowledge and experience supporting clients through the development process, through planning inception, design, implementation and final completion. We employ over 4,500 staff worldwide, of which 2,000 are based in the UK.

RPS has particular expertise, as well as a leading reputation, in the field of environmental services. In December 2014 RPS was listed as the UK’s leading Environmental Consultancy by Environmental Analyst’s review of the consulting sector.

With a network of local offices spread across the UK we offer a unique range of professional and technical expertise. RPS has grown into one of the world’s pre-eminent consultancies by maintaining its local connections whilst underpinning these with the resource and knowledge of a global business.

RPS delivers value through an integrated approach to development. We provide a wealth of in-house services and provide fully integrated, multi-disciplinary solutions to support our clients to achieve their aims.

ScottishPower Renewables is part of Iberdrola, the world’s largest wind energy developer, with an operating portfolio of over 14,000 megawatts (MW). ScottishPower Renewables is responsible for progressing Iberdrola’s onshore wind and marine energy projects in the UK and offshore windfarms throughout the world.

Securing our position at the forefront of the renewable energy industry, ScottishPower Renewables now has 30 operational windfarm sites producing over 1,600 MW, including West of Duddon Sands, our first offshore windfarm project. With a further 500 MW of onshore windfarm projects due to be constructed, we are set to maintain our position as the UK's leading wind developer.

With our 350 MW Wikinger Offshore Windfarm in the German Baltic Sea due to be constructed in 2017 and our East Anglia ONE windfarm, which has full planning consent and a contract that will allow us to develop up to 700 MW, we are set to position Iberdrola as the world's leading offshore wind developer.

The Scottish Government has a target to generate the equivalent of 100% of gross annual consumption from renewable electricity – including onshore wind farms- by 2020, and an interim target of 50% by 2015. The latest update suggests that progress is ahead of schedule, with an estimated 49.8% of Scotland’s electricity consumption derived from renewables in 2014
http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0048/00485407.pdf

Corrib Gas Now Flowing to Power Irish Homes and Businesses

11 January 2016

Corrib Gas Now Flowing to Power Irish Homes and Businesses

On 30th December 2015, gas started to flow from the Corrib gas field for the first time. The Corrib field is located 83km off Ireland’s north west coast in the Atlantic where the sea is over 350m deep. The natural gas is transported through a 20 inch pipeline to Bellanaboy Bridge Gas Terminal in Co. Mayo, where it is processed and transferred into the Gas Networks Ireland (GNI) network to power homes and businesses across Ireland. This is the first supply of gas from Irish waters since the Kinsale field off Cork was depleted many years ago. In the meantime, Ireland has been supplied with gas from Scotland.

Image: Eamonn O’Boyle

RPS has been working with Shell E& P Ireland Limited (SEPIL) and its partners since 2007 to reconfigure and deliver the onshore pipeline between the offshore section and the gas terminal. The onshore pipeline element is 8.3km long; approximately 4.6km is within a segment lined tunnel. Our multidisciplinary team has provided planning, engineering, environmental and local stakeholder communications services.

Ciarán Butler, RPS Project Manager on this key infrastructure project said “This is the culmination of many years of work by SEPIL and its partners at every level. RPS played an important part in the project by dealing with many of the key challenges that arose over various stages since 2007. This could not have been achieved without an excellent working relationship with SEPIL and a huge commitment from the RPS team across disciplines and offices. RPS can be proud of our significant contribution to the delivery of this major project of strategic national importance.”

As well as producing a comprehensive environmental impact statement, securing the necessary statutory planning approvals and managing a lengthy public consultation process, RPS also undertook wayleave negotiations with local landowners. Our team was responsible for detailed design of geotechnical, civil, structural, drainage and surface water treatment elements for construction of the onshore gas pipeline and tunnelling compound. RPS also provided health and safety services as Project Supervisor for the Design Process (PSDP).

At peak annual production, the Corrib gas field is expected to produce around 260 MMscf/d of gas, which is 45,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. Ronan Deasy, Managing Director of Shell E&P Ireland said: “We are pleased to have completed the development of this unique project and to bring the Corrib field on stream. I would like to pay tribute to all those who contributed to delivering this critical energy project, which will continue to bring benefits to the region and the country for years to come.”

rx3 Final Report on Waste Prevention and Recycling Launched

07 January 2016

rx3 Final Report on Waste Prevention and Recycling Launched

The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government has just published the final report on the ‘rx3 – Rethink Recycle Remake’ market development programme managed by RPS consultants over the past 6 years.

rx3 Project Manager Olivier Gaillot presenting the rx3 Final Report to Margaret Daly, Chair of Dept. of Environment, Community and Local Government Market Development Group joined by Liz Fingleton and Kate Cronin, Founders of Obeo. (Image: Jason Clarke Photography)

rx3 was a new national platform set up in 2008 to assist national waste recycling for paper, plastics and organics based on resource efficiency. The main focus was on closing the material loop, through the development of markets for reusable, remanufactured and recyclable materials. This closed loop recycling project correctly anticipated the new ‘circular economy’ policy by the EU Commission favouring eco-innovation, economic development and job creation.

Three types of actions have been completed by rx3 and advisory reports are available online at www.rx3.ie and summary of outcomes are available in the final report:

Technical – e.g. the development of materials standards and systems of quality control so that the market can have confidence in the product’s consistency and reliability

Communications – overcoming barriers due to a lack of awareness and understanding of the possible benefits of recycled materials and their availability by creating dialogue and cooperation between stakeholders

Economic Incentives – supporting innovation and jobs, product development and cross-sectoral initiatives between those managing the waste and those creating new products

The final report found that the rx3 interventions were wide ranging and impactful. Despite the economic crisis that overlapped with the programme, rx3 contributed to economic recovery, value creation (including intellectual property), job creation and to an increase in municipal material recycling rates to 35% in 2012. Municipal composting and anaerobic digestion rates also increased.

The project was of key strategic importance to the greening of the Irish economy and to the development of green enterprises in Ireland. The report found that rx3 had proactively contributed to addressing key strategic areas including: Environmental Innovation and R&D, Low Carbon Economy, Green Enterprise, Green Economy, Economic Instruments to enhance the Green Economy and Benefits of North South Cooperation. In recognition of these achievements, rx3 won the Green Public Sector Award at the 2013 National Green Awards.

Accepting the Green Public Sector Award in 2013: Louise Connolly, Olivier Gaillot, Margaret Daly, PJ Rudden, Brenda McEvoy and Conor McGovern. (Image: Green Awards 2013)

One of the beneficiaries of the market development programme was new start-up company Obeo who now make and sell compostable food waste boxes which are available in major retail outlets nationwide and online.

”We couldn’t have set up Obeo as a start-up out of NCAD without the guidance and support of rx3 who were of tremendous assistance” stated Kate Cronin, Obeo Founder.

“This project represented a fundamental mind shift from the old ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ tag line to a more holistic approach ‘Rethink Recycle Remake’ emphasising the role of eco design thinking aimed at waste prevention and the need to close the manufacturing loop by reusing and recycling materials as far as possible” said PJ Rudden, RPS Director. “If you can’t recycle it, then you should not make it. Also central to the circular economy is the necessary recycling and recovery of waste to practically eliminate landfill” he concluded.