BHC Ltd.: Onsite Energy Planning
When businesses can work together for a common purpose, great things can happen. Many businesses need a supply partner that can provide high quality products and services, while also meeting their ‘green’ objectives to reduce their carbon footprint.
We are delighted to report that BHC is one of these companies that delivers on both counts. BHC is a steelwork manufacturer and fabricator in Carnwath, South Lanarkshire, that is creating independent sustainable energy solutions.
The energy supply requirements for industrial steel fabrication equipment was considerable, and energy prices were increasing. The vision of the business was to create a more sustainable energy solution, as well as to provide clients with products that focus on reducing their environmental impact.
The site spanned 50 acres and had planning permission to construct another production unit. It was unclear if BHC were able to expand because of the energy demands. When VG Consulting were approached, the onsite use was approximately 2,000 MW hours per annum.
To meet the demands for on-site electricity, we performed both desk-based and field based renewable surveys. These surveys determined that a 900 kW turbine was the most suitable option. However, there were major planning restrictions as Carnwath Conservation Area, and a Scheduled Ancient Monument were nearby.
We quickly realised that the VG Consulting team needed to provide a turnkey planning solution that would use our wide ranging experience. The project needed to address the conservation concerns, and develop solutions to satisfy all of the involved parties. A lot was at stake as this project would make a considerable difference to BHC.
VG Consulting immediately started by working with South Lanarkshire Council and Historic Scotland. After extensive consultations to explore all areas, we achieved planning permission for a 67m Enercon turbine through a delegated decision. To address the concerns of the Council and Historic Scotland, we provided full planning and environmental assessment which included a Background Noise Assessment. We also created an extensive Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment. These assessments were critical and answered all of the criteria from all parties which allowed the project to proceed. Commercial renewable energy projects sometimes need a full-cycle planning viewpoint. We had the knowledge of the criteria that both South Lanarkshire Council and Historic Scotland set out. This allowed our team to take a wider view of the project.
Following our successful application for a non-material variation, BHC Limited commissioned their EWT turbine in the summer of 2015. They have since improved their green credentials by installing a network of biomass boilers. These developments by the management team at BHC are outstanding. The business is not only ‘giving something back’, but they are also benefitting as a business from the improved energy independence and sustainability.
This project improves their tendering credentials allows them to provide products with a severely reduced carbon footprint. BHC now has a major advantage for their clients and end users in the many build projects they deliver. This success means that they are expanding their workforce which was already at 300 employees when they started the process. Fantastic news for employment in the area.
As a business decision and an environmental attitude, BHC has shown a desire to embrace commercial renewable energy solutions. The support work from VG Consulting team and technology delivery by our associates at VG Energy, means that this project will be a success for many years to come.