UK Power Networks, NZMS team up for greener River Thames

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UK Power Networks, NZMS collaborate on greener Thames

UK Power Networks and Net Zero Marine Services (NZMS) have joined forces to enable electric boats on the River Thames to connect for charging, leading to reduced emissions.

UK Power Networks, which distributes energy across London, the East and the South East of the UK, will deliver 1.5 megavolt-amperes (MVA) of energy to NZMS’s new battery storage facility that will be used to charge electric boats on the River Thames.

According to UK Power Networks, this will be the UK’s first ever High Voltage (HV) shore power station above tidal waters. The substation will be based on a fixed tidal platform above an ebb and flow tidal range of 7 metres.

The project is being funded by UK Power Networks’ Green Recovery programme to support new low carbon electricity connections.

READ: Cory to convert River Thames fleet of tug boats to biofuel

As part of the works, UK Power Networks installed 1.8 kilometres of new cables and equipment that will allow for the electrification of boats along the Thames. This means lower carbon emissions, reduced water contamination and cleaner air for London, according to UK Power Networks.

UK Power Networks has invested £1.2 million ($1.5 million) into the local electricity network to enable the connection to be made. The connection, near Lambeth riverside, was made in June 2023, a month ahead of schedule and will be used from next summer.

Under the Green Recovery scheme, NZMS is developing five shore power locations in central London, which will create a network of HV power infrastructure available for all Thames operators. 

UK Power Networks is delivering £66 million ($82.75 million) investment across 85 sites as part of the Green Recovery programme, to fast-track low carbon energy projects that will help achieve the Government’s Ten Point Plan towards Net Zero by 2050. This supports the transition to net zero carbon emissions and London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s pathway for London to be Net Zero Carbon by 2030.

READ: Port of Tyne launches UK’s first site-wide private network

Miles Cole, Managing Director of Net Zero Marine Limited, said: “To reach net zero targets collaboration across stakeholders is absolutely key and we are delighted with the progress so far.

“We are on a mission to displace the use of diesel on the Thames by building the infrastructure which allows operators to switch to zero emissions technology such as electric vessels. We have worked closely with UK Power Networks and the Green Recovery Scheme has enabled us to unlock hard to reach areas on the Thames.”

Earlier this summer, the UK government committed £34 million ($43 million) in financing for novel technology that will assist sustainable shipping as part of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC).

More recently, the UK government announced the winners of the Zero Emission Vessel and Infrastructure fund (ZEVI).

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