What we do

Veitch Cooper Limited work with landowners, communities, public and private sector clients to develop energy solutions which make the best use of local resources and existing energy infrastructure to deliver low cost energy. We then help identify (and apply for) funding to deliver demonstrator pojects which show howthis can be done and in the process help technology developers commercialise their products.

The reduction of fuel poverty is high on our agenda

Delivering the above is not an easy task. It requires an in–depth knowledge of how the energy industry works; the policies that drive change; the regulatory frameworks which govern how energy is generated, bought and sold; how gas and electricity is transported and distributed around different regions and of course the opportunities (and limitations) of new technologies that can help make this a reality

Typical Development Process

Smart Sustainable Communities

Veitch Cooper are developing a number projects which aim to exploit the geothermal energy potential of ground water that flows through disused mine workings gaining heat from the higher ambient temperatures that naturally occur deep underground. Each project will seek to utilise existing operational and/or decommissioned industrial infrastructure as a basis for driving economic sustainable growth.

Why mine water?

Most GSHP schemes deliver savings on CO2 emissions and on operating expenditures. BUT they require considerable capital expenditure on borehole drilling and subsurface heat exchangers.

The use of mines and mine water can reduce capital expenditure because:

  • Flooded, interconnected mine workings allow access to a huge reservoir of warm mine water via only one or two boreholes, or via existing shafts.
  • The interconnected network of tunnels within the mine itself represents an enormous heat exchange surface.
  • Some abandoned mines are already committed to expenditure on pumping and/or treatment merely for the purposes of environmental protection, while regarding the pumped water merely as a troublesome 'waste' product.

Direct use of Locally Generated Electricity

Fintry Development Trust (FDT) aims to promote sustainability and improve energy efficiency in the village of Fintry, Stirlingshire. FDT have delivered a number of energy projects to support these objectives. To achieve a step-change in delivering renewable energy to an engaged community, FDT wanted to explore mechanisms to source electricity from the nearby 1.1MW Strathendrick AD plant. As the AD plant is over 4 miles from the village, which itself is a relatively dispersed community, use of a dedicated private wire network was not an option.

Veitch Cooper proposed that instead a 'virtual' link could be made between the output of the generator and the consumption of residents through the use of smart meters. These meters would record the instantaneous consumption of residents and balance it with the generator's output to provide this linkage, as well as bringing benefits in terms of reduced electricity usage. In addition, these meters could be used to control new electric heating in a manner that avoided costly network upgrades to accommodate increased load or generation output. This combination of lower cost renewable energy for heating and avoided distribution costs could make a significant impact in reducing problems of fuel poverty in the village. Use of local energy to supply the village's heating and other electricity requirements would take the community closer to its goal of full sustainability in the local economy.

Veitch Cooper provided a feasibility report to examine the technical, regulatory and economic barriers to implementing this 'virtual' supply arrangement. This has now been developed into a Local Energy Challenge Fund full scale demonstrator project involving a range of industry players.