Energy firm files for judicial review over smart meter rollout

Utilita Energy has requested a judicial review into the end date for the installation of smart meters for pay as you go (PAYG) customers.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has moved the deadline back by three months from July to October 2018, following a number of previous delays, but Utilita has repeatedly called for the deadline to be moved back to at least 2020 for PAYG customers.

The company is concerned that installing SMETS2 meters instead of the current SMETS1 meters could have a negative impact on PAYG customers because they could be left without power if the network goes down.

> See Utilita's statement


Deal struck for offshore wind innovation

The Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (OREC) has signed a five-year research and development contract with General Electric (GE) Renewable Energy.

The deal covers “cooling technologies, converters, loading conditions across mechanical and electrical components, grid testing and design validation”.

John Lavelle, President and Chief Executive of GE’s Offshore Wind business, said: “By using the OREC’s facilities and expertise, we will be in a better position to adapt our technology in a shortened time, reduce unplanned maintenance, increase availability and power output, while introducing new features to meet customers’ demands.”

> Read OREC's announcement


Orsted plans battery storage move

Power generator Orsted – formerly known as Dong Energy – is to build a 20MW battery in Liverpool to store energy from its Burbo Bank wind farm in the Irish Sea.

The battery will mark the company’s first foray into commercial-scale energy storage, following its decision last year to enter the emerging market.

Orsted has bought the Carnegie Road project from Shaw Energi and has chosen NEC to supply the batteries.

> View Orsted's statement


Scotch whisky industry hits renewables target early

More than 20% of the energy used to produce Scotland’s national drink now comes from low-carbon sources, according to the latest report from the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).

The trade body said the figure had risen from 3% in 2008 and meant that, although the industry accounts for 20% of UK food and drink exports, it only requires 10.7% of its energy.

Karen Betts, Chief Executive at the SWA, said: “I am delighted that the industry has made significant progress in a number of areas, and particularly that we have reached our target for the use of non-fossil fuel four years early.”

> See the SWA's statement


Bristol City Council drops own energy company

British Gas has won a contract to supply electricity to Bristol City Council, pipping the local authority-owned Bristol Energy in the process.

Writing on the company’s blog, Bristol Energy Managing Director Peter Haigh explained: “Just like all councils across the UK, Bristol City Council has to follow strict procurement processes when choosing suppliers, including where they get their energy from.

“So, although we are owned by Bristol City Council, it doesn’t automatically mean we can win contracts for supplying electricity and gas to their corporate estate.”

> Read the full explanation on Bristol Energy's blog