Working within the renewable sector

The government have stated “all of the UK’s electricity will come from clean sources by 2035”, which highlights the demand for more renewable projects. This has created a significant increase in the amount of jobs across the industry. What does this mean for prospective industry candidates? At Exagen, we are actively recruiting experienced individuals to join our team and support us on the pathway of creating cleaner, renewable energy.

What are the benefits of working within the renewables industry?

You’ll be making a real impact

There is a personal reward that comes with working within the renewables industry. Not only will you map out extreme growth for renewable energy development, but there are also opportunities to create innovative environmentalism solutions too. The input that is required to achieve the Net Zero targets are embedded within individuals who have sound experience and a comprehensive understanding of the market. Working within renewable energy offers great value to each and every one of our team members, as we are collectively making a difference to the energy landscape.

You’ll be working within a dynamic team

Our team is comprised with experts who have strengths in multiple areas and are passionate about energising a cleaner future. Together, we work as a unit and support each other along the way. Through our collaborative framework, there is a great amount of trust, learning and development. This creates an expansive work environment, which aligns well with our purpose to always be thinking bigger and better when it comes to producing clean, energy projects. It’s a prime time to join the renewables industry.

You’ll be creating a greener and cleaner future

At the core of our projects, we are continuously developing the scalability and sustainability of renewable energy. As part of this, our ambitions stretch across utility scale solar, onshore wind, battery storage which are all growing within the energy market. There are incredibly positive impacts that building renewables has on our environment, both nationally and globally. You’ll be working within a dedicated team that are enhancing the future of renewable energy.

Why choose a career at Exagen?

Exagen provides a fast paced and dynamic workplace environment. A people focused company with a passion for environmental sustainability. This come with continuous learning and development opportunities, financial stability, healthcare benefits, attractive salary and bonus.

Working within the renewables industry means that everyday you are contributing towards a positive cause. The industry is rapidly growing so there is huge potential to offer a forward-thinking and innovative approach to the environment and local communities. Meet our Exagen team online, and if you’re looking to make your next career move, explore our careers page today to learn more about our current vacancies.

To stay up to date with further news, visit us on Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok. 

Teaching the next generation about renewable energy

Teaching the next generation about renewable energy

We recently attended Parklands Primary School in Romford to share our knowledge on renewable energy and education surrounding this with Year 6 students. Led by Matt and Flavia, the workshop took place during the school’s Science Month. This was a fantastic opportunity for the children to learn more about the renewables industry, and how this creates a cleaner and greener future. There was a creative workshop and presentation, allowing the students to develop their understanding of renewables first-hand, and share this with their fellow peers and families too. This was an inspiring moment for us at Exagen, as connecting with local communities is an important part of our work. We found that through hosting workshops in this style, the community benefited from having their questions surrounding renewables, answered in a fun and insightful format.

How we are engaging with students and communities

We work with local schools and offer informative workshops for students and teachers to learn more about the renewables industry and ways of producing cleaner energy, sustainably to regenerate our planet. It is vital that we produce energy projects that directly have a positive effect on the communities surrounding our developments. We’ve found that through connecting with students, and sharing more about the renewable industry, we can break down some of the unanswered questions that most people have surrounding cleaner energy.

What did our renewables workshop involve?

For this workshop in particular, we began by exploring the fundamental basics surrounding solar energy and its relationship with the sun.

“The sun delivers a lot of energy, enough in an hour to power the Earth for a year. Photovoltaic (PV) cells harness sunlight by channelling light into the cell, exciting the atoms and creating an electrical current.” Sharing this, and breaking down the process of how the sun’s energy is dispersed across the earth, we were able to teach the students how our projects are integrated within this too.

“Solar cells produce DC (direct current) which needs to be converted into AC (alternating current) to be compatible with the UK grid. This is where an inverter is required to convert the DC current into AC. The electricity then follows into the National Grid, along the electrical cables and into your homes. Solar panels can still receive light on cloudy days, which in turn can continue to create electricity. The amount of sunlight (irradiation) across the UK fluctuates depending on where you are in the country. South of England receives a lot more irradiation compared to the north of Scotland, which is why it is warmer in the south compared to the north.”

Inspired by this, we set a task for the students to build their own solar farm and prove it works in the class by acknowledging questions such as – what current does the solar panel produce, what location is best for radiation, and when do solar panels produce electricity. Additionally, we also explained the process of how wind turbines harness kinetic energy and how this forms into an electrical current. Through taking the students on this journey, we saw the benefits that sharing this information has to actively educate the next generation about how solar can generate energy, sustainably and efficiently too.

How do we hope to inspire communities about cleaner energy?

From unpacking Britain’s electricity network, to the process of solar, wind and battery energy, we were able to highlight the benefits of renewable energy and how it positively aids biodiversity. Our main objectives were to ensure that the children learnt: how energy is produced, how it is transported to their homes, a brief history of how energy has been used in the past, and how the different types of renewable generation can enhance biodiversity. We look forward to hosting more workshops like this one in the future!

To stay up to date with further news, visit us on Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok. 

The community benefits of co-location

The community benefits of co-location

There are many benefits to co-locating large scale renewable energy projects. Not only does this optimise the site with a sustainable and fully versed infrastructure, but it also relieves the strain on the energy grid, whilst providing opportunities for neighbouring residents and people too.

How does our co-location approach support communities?

When analysing the success of our projects, we have identified the individual benefits that co-locating has on local communities. For example, within our Highfields Energy Park project:

This will maximise opportunities for biodiversity with an enhancement delivering and net gain of more than 85%.

There will be a 55% net gain for hedgerow units.

The solar farm will have an installed capacity of 52MWp, which is the equivalent to the electricity usage of approximately 17,700 UK homes.

Our community fund

We have also considered how we can connect with our local communities too. As part of this, an allocated fund has been put in place to be spent annually on supporting the surrounding communities of our energy projects. This fund will be invested into local initiatives, projects or people, and is our way of giving back to the area, and keeping a line of communication and togetherness throughout. For example, offering a small-scale, one-off investment such as sponsoring a local football team, or a larger renovation project to repair communal facilities. We hope that this will help to build the community and sustain it from a social standpoint, as well as environmentally. This fund will be managed by an independent external body, delivered in partnership with local communities. Local people are able to advise on the fund strategy, having their say on how it is spent, so it is prioritised based on the issues that are in most need of being supported. We are open to suggestions on community benefit initiatives, and fully appreciate new ideas and considerations. Some of these include:

• Looking at how to reduce energy bills for local residents.

• Upgrading to fibre provision for local residents.

• Upgrading to local public rights of way.

• Working with local schools to accommodate educational site visits.

• Provision of funds towards the installation of local electric vehicle charging points.

• Identify opportunities for community food growing/horticulture close to the site.

The co-location benefits within our Normanton Energy Reserve project

Our Normanton Energy Reserve project has extensive benefits relating to local communities too. The project will maximise opportunities for biodiversity enhancement, delivering a total net gain of more than 44%. The Net gain for hedgerow units in comparison to the existing situation will increase by 37%. We have fully taken into consideration how the project will benefit the local community and consulted this with the public too. This includes:

• Expanding Normanton Millennium Wood.

• Introducing permissive path through our new wooded area, linking it with the paths through Normanton Millennium Wood.

• Utilising the open space in the west as wildflower grassland and provide the land for local beekeepers.

The Environmental Act recommends a 10% increase for projects like ours, and we are committed to supporting our communities along the way, maximising the opportunity to connect with local residents and support landowners throughout the process of developing our energy projects.

Do you have a question about co-location? Tweet us your thoughts @ExagenG and stay up to date with further news, visit us on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and TikTok. 

Our thoughts on ‘UK Green Day’

Following a raft of documents released by the Government on ‘Green Day’ yesterday, including ‘Powering up Britain’, the feeling is the focus should have been more on renewables.

Low cost, low carbon and locally produced – renewable energy will be critical when trying to secure consumers against volatile global energy markets. Instead, the focus was very much on carbon capture and storage, nuclear and hydrogen. All are valid options for energy security but remain a decade away.

Right now, onshore wind is an efficient, cheap and widely supported technology. The Government has consulted on changes to planning policy in England for onshore wind. We, like many organisations, submitted representation to that NPPF consultation calling for all planning restrictions to be lifted so consenting would match other electricity generation. This is required to use this technology effectively to deliver net-zero.

We await the Government’s response to the NPPF consultation and hope the door for onshore wind is opened further, but we remain sceptical on the lack of urgency to unlock an industry with so much more potential.

@Department for Energy Security and Net Zero seeks large scale solar deployment across the UK, looking for development mainly on brownfield, industrial and low/medium grade agricultural land. Importantly the Government will not be making changes to categories of agricultural land in ways that might constrain solar deployment. This is positive.

There are further changes being proposed to National Policy Statements which are massively overdue, including EN3 for renewable energy. We will respond to this consultation with a deadline of the 25th May 2023. As onshore wind is excluded from the NSIP regime, it does not feature in this consultation.

The fundamental issue facing the delivery of net-zero is not investment in and deployment of renewable generation, but access for these projects to the grid in a cost effective and timely manner. The changes in the way we need to generate electricity to deliver net-zero necessitates largescale changes to the electricity networks. Reforms need to keep up with the appetite for delivering renewable energy.

The following is an extract from ‘Powering Up Britain’ on grid reforms:

  • Plans to accelerate the delivery of strategic transmission upgrades by at least three years, with an ambition to cut delivery times in half.
  • @Nick Winser CBE FREng The Electricity Networks Commissioner has been tasked to advise government on accelerating grid delivery, with recommendations due in June.
  • Working to reform the grid connections process, at both transmission and distribution levels, which is delaying generation projects across the UK.
  • A connections action plan published in the summer.

All of this is necessary but it’s the outcomes of these reviews and the delivery against the action plans that are critical. Time is very much of the essence on delivering net-zero, which goes hand in hand with delivering energy security.

New Exagen Office Location Opens

We are pleased to announce the opening of our our new office premises situated at the prestigious Crabtree Hall Business Centre at Little Holtby, Northallerton, North Yorkshire, just 20 minutes from East Coast Main line stations at Darlington and Northallerton.

Crabtree Hall is situated within family farming land and the setting perfectly compliments the Exagen brand ethos as well as demonstrating our continued business growth and brand ambitions.

Visit here for further information regarding Crabtree Hall Business Centre, including location directions: crabtreehall.com

New Managing Director

Huge congratulations to our new Managing Director – Mark Rowcroft. Mark brings a wealth of knowledge, expertise, and great humour to the Exagen team and we applaud his commitment not only to Exagen but to the greater cause of sustainable energy and a cleaner planet.

As Mark commences his new role as MD we pass on our congratulations and eagerness to see what happens next.

Class Of Your Own partnership

Exagen is proud to support the ‘Class Of Your Own’ as Energy Partner on the forthcoming “Design Engineer Construct! Digital Village” programme for secondary schools for solar and battery storage.

As a renewable energy developer, building the next generation of renewable energy projects and grid-balancing battery storage facilities, we are committed to energising a cleaner future. Class of Your Own are the award-winning creators of the ”Design Engineer Construct! digital Village” learning programme. Together, and in partnership, we believe in empowering and educating children and young people everywhere, so they can design, engineer and construct an extraordinary future and in partnership.

The initiative highlights our mission to build long-term relationships with communities, which are centred on responsible and forward-thinking stewardship of the local environment and helping local biodiversity to flourish.

To learn more about Class Of Your Own visit the website: classofyourown.com

 

British Beekeepers Association

Exagen are proud corporate partners of the British Beekeepers association.

Biodiversity is a critical part of our brand purpose and partnering with the ‘BBKA’ further demonstrates our commitment and focus in delivering above and beyond the required levels of biodiversity within our renewable energy projects.

In partnership with the association we are supporting beekeeping in the UK and will also use the relationship to develop school education programmes and initiatives to educate children on the necessity to encourage pollinators within the UK environment, this also includes building apery’s with our project designs.

Biodiversity is essential for the processes that support all life on Earth, including humans. Without a wide range of animals, plants and microorganisms, we cannot have the healthy ecosystems that we rely on to provide us with the air we breathe and the food we eat.

 

Low carbon for farmers and landowners

Our Development team recently attended the Low Carbon Agriculture 2023 show on 7th and 8th February. The event explored innovative systems and practices to eliminate carbon emissions, through technological enhancements and better land management. As the UK strives towards achieving net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, it is essential that the agricultural sector responds to new and sustainable practices. Low carbon means less carbon dioxide, which is one of the main greenhouse gases driving global climate change. It’s released through a range of activities – particularly, deforestation and burning fossil fuels. It’s important for us to lower our carbon footprint and switching to cleaner energy will facilitate this.

How does clean energy lower our carbon footprint?

Solar panels, wind turbines and even geothermal energy too, are all sources of energy that have an increased level of sustainability, lowering our reliance on natural gas and resource harvesting. This will help to reduce carbon emissions.

Low carbon for farmers

There is a great demand placed on the farming industry, especially since the agricultural market has grown even more over the years. Cultivating crops produces an incredible amount of CO2 and it is estimated that the agricultural industry has created up to 24% of global carbon emissions. It’s therefore a necessity to adopt low carbon practices. This will not only bring in new income for farmers, but it’ll also enhance the environment and tackle carbon footprints from developing even more. These are some of the key ways in which low carbon farming practices can be put into action: Reducing the amount of fertiliser, reducing tillage (such as heavy mining and digging of the soil), agroforestry (integrating various plants and trees into the farm), improved residue and water management, optimising the land with solar infrastructures. When a crop plantation produces low carbon farming, this protects, nourishes the land and enhances the overall farm in many ways. These actions contribute towards strengthening commitments towards tackling climate change.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions within the farm

There are multiple layers to enhancing the farm’s operations and ensuring that lower expels of carbon are transmitted into the environment. It’s important to repurpose excess food by rejuvenating the soil with it, instead of overproducing food and subsequent waste. By replacing fossil fuel use for heating and cooling with renewable alternatives, this will help to reduce the production of greenhouse gasses. Electricity for heating that is solely obtained from the grid is not a sustainable method of energy consumption. It’s better to create an an energy system via solar, which can be directly integrated into the farming structures. More reading about sustainable farming methods is available here.

Low carbon for landowners

In recent years, even more landowners are becoming aware of the benefits of optimising the land with renewable energy and implementing solar projects as part of this. In particular, when developing the land, it’s necessary to think about renewable energy sources and how these can be brought into the home in a smart and effective way to lower energy bills and even make money. The Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) scheme helps landowners to make money back from the national grid, by selling any surplus energy generated through solar panels. Additionally, these are just a few of the many ways land can be more sustainable and cleaner for our environment: Investing in renewable sources of energy, including more green spaces within the design of the buildings and land, using sustainable materials to reduce the carbon footprint of any property developments and investing in effective insulation to lower the need for energy demands.

When owning land, how can we reduce our carbon footprint?

The amount of energy used in the operation of existing buildings represents an extortionate amount of carbon, contributing to 40% of the UK’s total. If we are to meet a more sustainable agenda, achieving the government’s net zero target, then we need to refurbish existing buildings with renewable, cleaner energy sources. By optimising the land, developing it with modern technology and investing in the enhancements that solar has to offer, we will move towards achieving the net zero target and lowering our carbon footprint.

To stay up to date, visit us on Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok. 

Exagen launches TikTok channel

In recent years TikTok has taken the central spot on the social media stage pushing Instagram aside. With users ranging across various age groups (not only Gen Z), but Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers too. There is a budding community of TikToker’s all enjoying forms of video content. The app has become so influential since 2019 that over recent years even Instagram, YouTube and Facebook are adopting the vertical video centralised medium that the platform adopts to showcase stories to audiences.

What type of content can one expect to see when scrolling through TikTok?

Despite what most might think, it’s not just a platform where endless dancing videos are shared and circulate. There’s actually a lot more content that can be discovered, relating to energy, solar farming, environmentalism and the latest insights about biodiversity. The app offers an immersive viewing experience, where the algorithm is inspired by your personal interests and likes, as opposed to adopting a chronological order. This means that content can be shared at any time of day and reach the right audience – one that is genuinely interested and engaged with the subject matter of the video.

“My experience of TikTok is likely to be completely different to yours; that’s by design. TikTok’s commitment to algorithmically curated content is one of the reasons it stands out from the rest.” – The Guardian

How can solar companies benefit from sharing content on TikTok?

TikTok is made to share stories and connect with an audience. As a company who strive to share information surrounding our environment, biodiversity and solar energy, it makes total sense to explore the parameters of video sharing on its platform. Through highlighting key topics, relating to our mission, we are able to concisely communicate these ideas to new audiences who have an interest in this area too. As mentioned above, every user’s feed is completely different and based on their individual likes. This means that we will undoubtedly be reaching the right audience – those interested in a cleaner, greener future with solar energy as the focus.

The role of digital marketing in the renewables industry

Our industry is evolving in hand with technology, which means the two are intrinsically connected. Forbes highlighted a particularly insightful point for all content creators and brand owners to take creative inspiration from: “Brands and creators need to understand that content does not have to be “perfect” to be successful. More important than creating perfect videos is the ability to be consistent so that the algorithm can generate momentum for the brand page.” By consistently showing up and shaping an image of yourself, within your niche or specialism – in our case, the renewable industry, we can share our story with more audiences and hopefully connect with those who are interested in learning about the knowledge we have to share. This is crucial as we live in the digital age, where technology is at the palm of our hands on a day to day and it is most people’s preferred form of connecting, with ease and instantaneousness.

As mentioned in the article by Power Engineering International, there’s a revolution taking place on TikTok. More audiences are engaging with environmental content on the platform, making it the ideal place to share industry news and information. “The world is going greener and social media is doing its bit to spread the word about all things sustainable. There’s a revolution happening on TikTok with users sharing environmentally friendly hacks and tips and educating others about sustainability, and the audience is huge.”

Join us on TikTok to follow the renewables revolution.