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Energy efficiency took centre stage at the annual AFO conference last November in Stratford-upon-Avon.

In a panel focused on power at events, chair Andy Lenthall of the Production Services Association and Powerful Thinking, said: “We are at a tipping point as an industry where, if people are up to speed with the choices they have, we will see efficiencies driven by smarter planning and use of lower emission alternatives. The commercial incentives are now very real.”

2017 was indeed a strong year for evolution in green power, with Shambala festival working with energy expert, Entersys’ Sid Rogerson to monitor the power use of 40 concessions onsite, using data collected to inform the development of a pay-per-use model for trader energy.

The festival has used the information to establish an average total kWhs for users, to identify concessions using significantly above average energy, and those that are very efficient.

Using overall fuel consumption figures and energy equipment and service costs, they have developed a cost per kWh. Chris Johnson, operations director says: “Rather than a simplistic fee for the size of feed (16A, 32A etc.) which can have little bearing on actual kWhs used, we will establish a standing charge and tariffs so that lower energy users are charged comparatively less (per kWh) and higher users will find themselves with a cost incentive to consider energy efficiency.”

Elsewhere, major power manufacturers are stepping up their game. Aggreko was announced as Official Temporary Power Supporter for the Glasgow 2018 European Championships.

The mobile, modular power, heating and cooling company will provide temporary and continuous power across the Championships’ competition and non-competition venues in August.

Aggreko will provide around 60 generators supplying more than 10 Mega Volt Amp (MVA) of energy, distributed through more than 240 panels and 26km of cable. This will power the successful delivery of 84 sessions of sport, including Open Water Swimming at Loch Lomond and Mountain Biking at Cathkin Braes.

“We look forward to working with the team and Glasgow city to ensure the faultless delivery of power to the Championships. There is no better place to do this than in Scotland,” said Robert Wells, managing director, Aggreko Major Events Services.

Aggreko and its services will be used alongside existing venues to meet all the Championship’s power requirements over the 11-day celebration of sport and culture.

In 2018, Aggreko is also supporting PyeongChang Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Power Logistics, meanwhile, says more and more clients are looking at the environmental impact of their events prompting a close examination of its green credentials in recent years.

Mike Whitehouse, its managing director, adds: “Whilst we wholly recognise that temporary power is by its nature not environmentally friendly, being energy efficient is at the forefront of everything that we do. We’re offering clients more and more sustainable solutions and in invested heavily in fuel management, power monitoring solutions, LED lighting and solar powered equipment.

“We’re also exploring and using alternative, environmentally friendly fuel that can be used in ordinary generator sets. In May 2016, we conducted a scientific test, employing experts to analyse and research the impact of running a hydrogenated vegetable oil in our generator sets. This was all carried out at our own cost to investigate the performance and reliability of a greener solution. It was a risk to our expensive machinery, which has previously perished when using an alien fuel.”

“Since this test, we have provided HVO run generator sets to several festivals in 2017, including British Summer Time where 50% of the site was ran on HVO, in our own sets and those hired in, reducing the events environmental impact. All the festoon lighting that we supplied was LED as was most of the flood lighting that we installed, specifically the arena lights that we installed on delay towers.

“We announced back in October that we’re now offering glycerine fuelled generator sets. Glycerine is a carbon-neutral fuel; safe, odourless, non-toxic and water soluble and an abundant by-product of biodiesel production. The technology in the sets we use allows glycerine to replace diesel, increasing efficiency and dramatically cutting pollutants such as NOx and particulates by over 90%.

“We fuelled a 300 kva generator for a high-profile event in the South of France and were genuinely impressed with the reliability and performance. The next step is to explore the boundaries and look at what the implications are on a larger scale regarding cost effectiveness and reliability, and of course the desire of event organisers to make the shift.”

Shaun Pearce, MD Pearce Hire says his company has committed to continuing to working with energy efficient diesel generators, installing intelligent, load-sharing multi-generator power solutions to reduce emissions, fuel consumption and the overall carbon footprint of events when using diesel.

“Systems are regularly reviewed, and Pearce Hire are currently exploring the introduction of HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) fuel as part of our temporary power services which will further reduce non-renewable carbon output,” he says.

HVO fuel is a renewable diesel fuel which is chemically equivalent to fossil diesel fuel and can be used in existing diesel engines whilst significantly reducing non-renewable C02 emissions.

Pearce Hire plans to trial the introduction of HVO fuel for a handful of events during the 2018 festival season. “We are excited to analyse the results, alongside our other established sustainable initiatives and ‘best practice’ services,” adds Pearce.

“We encourage our clients to adapt their requirements towards more cost-efficient solutions. But this takes time and consultation.”

With LEDs slashing lighting rigs’ requirements and audio ever more energy efficient, Symphotech, which has looked after technical production since the event started at Battle Abbey 30 years ago, commissioned Midas to contemporise the power process.

Symphotech director, Julian Spear, comments: “We work with Midas on a number of projects. It’s a proven main stage supplier at Jockey Club Live and Music Plus Sport, we know the quality of its kit, its people, its service, and the Midas touch will be a big benefit to Battle Proms 2018 and beyond.”

Dave Noble, managing director at Midas, says: “July/August is peak season, obviously, so winning this contract is testament to our ongoing investment in highest quality machines, transport and people. It’s always a pleasure to work with Symphotech and we’re looking forward to joining the big guns next summer.”

Featuring a full orchestral programme, Battle Proms is the only event in the world where audiences can hear Beethoven’s Battle Symphony performed as the composer intended, with 193 cannons, muskets and fireworks.

Held at Burghley House (July 7), Hatfield House (July 14), Blenheim Palace (July 21), Highclere Castle (August 3) and Ragley Hall (August 11), the Battle Proms 2018 will also feature Napoleonic re-enactment, a WW1 cavalry display, performance from the Vignettes, and Spitfires in a choreographed aerial display.

Elsewhere, Midas recently completed a six figure spend on Himoinsa machines, affectionately known as ‘the business’, Midas has bought two new Hiab trucks to give its distribution arm greater flexibility.

“Our kit is the best in the business, without question, and the sheer breadth of what we do really benefits from having trucks in the yard,” Noble, says. “We want to make sure this is always a great place to work, help everyone to be able to realise their ambitions and deliver on Midas’ big promises.”