Member of the Week: SP Energy Networks | Glasgow Chamber of Commerce
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Member of the Week: SP Energy Networks

SP Energy Network has helped save Glasgow’s only electric bus service, which connects the Riverside Museum with the Kelvingrove Museum, the SEC and the city centre, as part of its £20 million Green Economy Fund.

The council-operated 100 service, which was due to be axed last week with re-tender scheduled for February, will receive three months of funding while SP Energy Networks works alongside operators to find a permanent solution to prevent it from closure.

The fund, established earlier this year, will support 13 projects across Scotland,  helping to meet the ambitious green targets of the Scottish Government to boost local economic growth and improve air quality in cities. It focuses on the communities in which SP Energy Networks operates – central and southern Scotland – and will run for two years.

Almost £6 million has been awarded after the first round of funding applications – including a ground-breaking new partnership with First Glasgow, Scotland’s biggest bus operator, to bring the first passenger electric buses to Glasgow.

SP Energy Networks’ CEO, Frank Mitchell, said: “There are many projects, large and small, which are carrying out innovative and inspiring work to expand Scotland’s green economy and accelerate local growth. The Green Economy Fund can provide them with the financial boost required to make great ideas a reality.

“The Scottish Government has an ambitious plan to reduce carbon emissions and to grow Scotland’s use of electric vehicles and SP Energy Networks is ready to help deliver that plan. We want to promote the uptake of electric vehicles and the development of the infrastructure required; we want to help with the provision of affordable low carbon heating to address fuel poverty and we want to encourage low-carbon job creation.

“But the Green Economy isn’t just about individual green projects; it is about creating and accelerating a green economy for Scotland – to deliver a better future, quicker. The projects that have been helped with this first round of SP Energy Networks’ finding will help to do that; to make Scotland a cleaner, greener place for generations to come.”

Initiatives supported by the Green Economy Fund include:

  • £1.5 million has been awarded to establish Glasgow’s first permanent electric bus routes, the M3 First Bus service. With support from SPT, two electric buses manufactured by Alexander Dennis will operate between Milton and Glasgow city centre serving over 200,000 passengers annually.
  • City of Edinburgh Council’s refurbishment of Saughton Park to introduce a micro-hydro scheme to power ground source heat pumps that will, in turn, produce electricity for community facilities, the Winter Gardens glasshouse, electric vehicle charge points and park lighting.
  • £2.1 million will support Scotland’s biggest and most ambitious regeneration project, the Clyde Gateway, to create a self-sufficient local energy and generate income that can be reinvested into local projects and reduce fuel poverty. This will be achieved by introducing heat pump technology into its waste water treatment centre.
  • Community Transport Glasgow, Scotland’s first civic transport organisation to be fully low-carbon replacing aging diesel minibuses with a new fleet of electric and low-carbon minibuses to provide life-line transport for more than 75,000 elderly, disabled and vulnerable passengers.
  • The development of WattsUp, an app to guide drivers to their nearest electric charging point. It will collate data from all of Scotland’s network operators and provide real-time data on when and where to stop.
  • A programme of local “smart energy” action plans and feasibility studies developed with community councils in Dumfries & Galloway, the Scottish Borders, Fife and Glasgow led by the team at Community Energy Scotland.

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