New analysis of site data from 12 Keltbray construction projects has revealed significant savings since the business introduced battery technologies to decarbonise its power usage and reduce running costs.
Keltbray is a construction engineering specialist delivering integrated solutions for complex building and infrastructure sectors across the UK. Recognised by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) for its efforts to quantifiably reduce the carbon emissions on its projects, the business is continually looking at new processes, technologies, and forward-thinking suppliers to partner with to continue such work.
At the helm of its sustainability agenda is Kiro Tamer, Head of Environmental Sustainability, and ICE Carbon Champion. In 2021, Kiro approached Aggreko for support with Keltbray’s site power provision due to the capability of its specialist telemetry systems, which would allow the company to monitor equipment remotely.
This was of particular interest to Kiro and his team as it would allow them to start monitoring power equipment performance around the clock to better inform their decarbonisation strategy.
Battery viability and versatility
In early 2022, Aggreko Sector Engineer Kath Argent began working in partnership with Keltbray to audit its power requirements across certain sites and identified the common issue of generator oversizing. Kath comments: “We often see hired equipment that is oversized as an attempted level of resilience, but it also means it is often running at less than 30% load and therefore inefficient. Aggreko right-sizes its equipment and implements other techniques, such as load on demand, for maximum efficiency.”
Kath and her team also introduced battery energy storage system (BESS) technology as part of Aggreko’s Greener Upgrades portfolio. According to Aggreko, while the sustainable benefits of batteries have long been undisputed, until recently there had been low uptake across the construction industry due to the perceptions the technology was in its infancy.
Kiro comments: “We wanted to look at batteries for some time, but it also needed to make commercial sense and market conditions just hadn’t made it viable until that point. When fuel prices started to rise around April, that’s when things started to change. Since then, the adoption of the technology has come along so quickly.”
Throughout 2022, Keltbray introduced Aggreko’s battery storage systems on 12 projects which spanned six different counties. It included a wide array of developments such as the construction of the iconic East London neighborhood at Silvertown Keys, maintenance of a cargo shed at Heathrow Airport, new flood defenses for Sheffield City Council, a new housing development for a leading UK housebuilder and a large infrastructure project concerning the A30.
Kiro adds: “The versatility of this technology is demonstrated via the wide variety of projects and sites we have been able to introduce it into, making it a fundamental part of our decarbonisation strategy. In just 12 months, we went from using no batteries, to them accounting for at least 25% of our temporary power procurement with Aggreko.”
As part of its commitment to work in partnership with Keltbray to help achieve its Net Zero goals, Aggreko’s insights team used its specialist telemetry system to analyse data from the 12 projects spanning 2022.
By looking at load information and comparing traditional generator-only running costs against the new hybrid running costs, they were able to evaluate a reduction of over 200 tonnes of carbon. This was the result of saving over 75,000 litres of fuel, which equated to over £100,000 in fuel costs.
Kiro adds: “Our industry is working relentlessly to become more sustainable, but there are still many hurdles to overcome. Power procurement has never been simple, and I think there is a general lack of understanding on how to reduce reliance on diesel generators where there is no access to the grid. But there are solutions out there – as evidenced in this sustainability success story. For those who want to reap the rewards, the technology is there for the taking and companies like Aggreko can help implement it smartly and quickly.”