The Informer

M&S updates Plan A
Marks & Spencer has unveiled an updated version of Plan A, ten years after launching its initial 100-point environmental and ethical strategy.

The high street retailer has committed itself to making all its packaging “widely recyclable” by 2025, as well as sourcing all its key raw materials from sustainable sources.

It also aims to raise £25 million for charity, donate one million hours of work-time volunteering by members of staff, and complete 100 community projects with local councils and charities.

> See M&S's statement


Rockfire buys UK solar farms

German renewable energy company Wirsol has sold 19 of its solar farms in the UK to investment manager Rockfire Capital.

The sites vary between 2.5MW and 20.5MW and have a combined capacity of 105MW.

Wirsol said it will continue to build solar parks in the UK, either to operate itself or to sell to investors.

> Read Wirsol's announcement


Eneco invests in renewables sites

Eneco has bought two roof-mounted solar farms from Kingspan Energy.

One solar array is mounted on Kingspan’s own solar panel factory at Sherburn and is capable of generating 5MW.

The other 2.5MW array is located on top of clothing retailer Next’s distribution centre in Doncaster.

> Find out more about Eneco


New head of energy and low carbon unit

Highlands & Islands Enterprise, the economic development agency covering the North of Scotland, has appointed Audrey MacIver as director of its energy and low carbon unit.

MacIver replaces Calum Davidson, who retired in November following 31 years with the agency and its predecessor, the Highlands & Islands Development Board.

David Oxley, HIE’s acting director of business and sector development, said: “Energy is one of our most important and dynamic sectors, presenting great opportunities for the region and for Scotland as a whole.

“With Audrey in post, we have appointed an individual who is not only highly experienced and knowledgeable, but also passionate about developing the whole sector, from oil and gas, through all forms of renewable energy to the emerging low carbon economy.”

> Read HIE's announcement


Battery flywheel project to connect to the grid

Utility Europe’s largest and the UK’s first battery flywheel system will be connected to the Irish and UK grids to help respond to energy demand as part of a new project involving engineers from the University of Sheffield, Schwungrad Energie, Adaptive Balancing Power and Freqcon.

The €4 million euro project, with €2.9 million coming from the EU’s Horizon2020 scheme, will develop an innovative flywheel battery hybrid energy storage system aimed at stabilising pressure on the existing grid infrastructure in Europe.

> See the statement