Glasgow energy projects worth £13m will power COP26 climate summit and help blue lights go green

The United Nations climate summit, electric police cars and eco-friendly buses are all set to benefit from £13 million of green energy projects in Glasgow.

The investment, by ScottishPower Energy Networks (SPEN), will go towards three significant distribution network upgrades, to be carried out across the city over the next 18 months.

The work will help prepare the grid for a massive increase in demand for electricity as the decarbonisation of heat and transport gathers pace.

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It will also help achieve a green economic recovery from the Covid pandemic and accelerate the city’s move to net-zero emissions, according to the network operator.

Frank Mitchell, chief executive of SPEN, said: “Glasgow is about to host one of the most important climate summits since 2016, COP26.

“The summit will be a pivotal moment when global action is agreed to help tackle the ongoing climate crisis.

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“Here in Glasgow, and across the UK, we are also at a pivotal moment for our energy networks.

ScottishPower Energy Networks will carry out electricity upgrades in Glasgow worth £13 million over the next 18 months - including infrastructure to power the COP26 climate conference, being held in the city in November

“We need to see significant investment in our networks now, so they can deliver the electrification of heat and transport and the move to renewable energy that is needed to meet our climate ambitions.

“This £13m funding will not only enable the delivery of COP26 later this year, but it will play a part in Glasgow achieving its own climate change ambitions at the pace and scale needed to support the city’s people and businesses on the journey to net zero.”

Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “Around half of greenhouse gas emissions are generated through how we heat our homes and how we travel around our city.

“Finding solutions to these two major contributors will be a huge step forward in delivering on Glasgow’s net zero carbon targets, as well as social challenges around fuel poverty and pollution.

Frank Mitchell, chief executive of ScottishPower Energy Networks

“Glasgow has the partnerships, the innovation and the shared commitment to not only make COP a success but to create a cleaner, fair and more prosperous city for all its people.”

The energy projects will see £6m invested in the creation of new electrical circuits to provide extra capacity needed to supply the internationally important climate talks, which are expected to bring thousands of attendees from across the world to Glasgow in November.

When the conference is over, a substation will be built to house this new equipment and create additional electrical capacity for the city centre, helping to facilitate future green developments and connection of low-carbon technologies.

A further £6m will see a new substation built near First Bus’s Caledonia depot in the south side of the city.

The facility will be critical in realising the public transport operator’s plan to introduce electric buses and set up the necessary charging infrastructure.

Upgrades worth £1m will also be carried out at 16 other substations in and around the city to support decarbonisation of the 3,500 marked and unmarked vehicles in Police Scotland’s fleet.

The project will contribute to the establishment of a ‘green corridor’ of electric vehicle charging points along key routes which will be primarily used by police to escort delegates and heads of state to the COP26 meeting.

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