Energy infrastructure

Aquatera has developed tools and deployed expertise to support and guide project planning and management for a variety of infrastructure projects. The shift to using more renewable sources of energy creates specific infrastructure demands, many of which are not yet built into energy supply systems. Energy storage and transformation will be a major part of the solution.

Grid networks

In much of the developed world the existing grid networks will need to be re-wired and adapted to provide the connectivity needed by a more electricity-dependent society. In the less developed world micro grid and off grid solutions are required to support this energy revolution.

Providing effective advice in this area requires an understanding of the market needs that are driving investment, the technical limitations and opportunities that exist as well as the broad environmental sensitivities and planning considerations that need to be taken into account. 

Aquatera has developed a reputation for its solution-oriented work on the development of grid infrastructure and grid solutions around the world.

Energy storage and transformation

Energy storage will enable the varying outputs from renewables to compete more effectively with established carbon based energy generation where storage mechanisms have already been built into the system. Energy transformation will allow renewables and indeed other energy sources to be converted into products, materials and states that can be more easily transported, delivered and stored as the world’s pattern of supply and demand continually adapts.

The best approaches for providing such energy system capacity are yet to be established.  Aquatera is investigating the demand for energy storage and transformation as well as the different solutions that are emerging. Working with technology providers, we can help deliver full system requirements to businesses, communities, individual sectors and regions. 

Experience

Our comprehensive option evaluation, site and route evaluation, project planning and permitting activities have often been applied to onshore energy infrastructure. In particular, our RADMAPP site and route planning tool has been particularly well used in this sector, to help guide complex siting and route finding processes leading to successful and cost effective planning processes for major infrastructure projects.  

A number of our senior staff and associates have had long careers in the energy sector where they have undertaken numerous studies, projects and assignments related to onshore energy infrastructure.  Although much of this work has been completed in the UK it has also included work in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, Russia, Chile, Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, Chile, Peru and elsewhere.

In terms of energy storage and transformation, Aquatera has explored the use of hydrogen for storing energy generated by community wind turbines, the possible use of hydrogen for powering ships and the merits of using electric vehicles to help manage electricity supply and demand relationships. We have also built possible energy storage and transformation options into the life cycle cost of energy model we operate.

Services

We can assist with the siting and environmental assessment of both onshore and offshore grid infrastructure. We can produce maps showing constraints, and also highlight areas where there may be particular opportunities for siting grid infrastructure.

In addition to the usual portfolio of Onshore Services, Aquatera provides the following specific expertise and practical support for energy infrastructure projects:

Grid infrastructure

  • Investigation of infrastructure strategies
  • Planning processes for key infrastructure facilities
  • Consultation over key infrastructure decisions
  • Support for clients applying for grid capacity

Planning

  • Environmental surveys - ecological, ornithological, Habitat Regulations assessments
  • Onshore geology & hydrology surveys
  • Visualisation GIS modelling
  • Cultural heritage assessment
  • Noise, landscape/seascape, visual impact assessments

Energy storage and transformation

  • Analysis of energy storage needs & options
  • Analysis of energy transport and delivery needs & options

Projects

Grid Projects

  • Site options studies, including under grounding and subsea cables, overhead lines and electrical substations for North of Scotland transmission lines, SSE
  • EIA and ES preparation including consultation, infrastructure siting and design, support with planning process, SSE 
  • Expert members of strategy group developing options for grid upgrades to and within Orkney, OIC
  • Supported various wave and tidal developers in their bids for Agreements for Lease including grid access requirements

Energy Storage and Transformation Projects

  • Audit of existing and future requirements based on different levels of EV uptake in collaboration with Urban Foresight, OIC
  • Review of energy storage options in remote and rural areas including hydrogen and large scale batteries, Shapinsay Development Trust
  • Option analysis of low carbon alternatives for internal ferry fleet including options for a low carbon fuelling hub, OIC
  • Feasibility study on options for uptake of EVs, Cothorm Trust Uist

Other Energy Infrastructure Projects

  • Audit of existing infrastructure and options analysis for 6 Orkney islands facing serious constraint issues
  • Options assessment of different port configurations for marine renewables, OIC
  • Economic feasibility study for waste wood based district heating system, Orkney Housing Association
  • Feasibility study, design and costing options for district heating scheme, OIC

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