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Our capability in the renewable energy sector

From concept to realisation

Globally, renewable energy is one of the most talked about and pressingly important growth industries of our time. As a world-class consultancy in the field of the built and natural environment, WSP is able to advise on the investment and feasibility of clean technology schemes, their construction and long term management. We advise parties on all sides of the table and at all stages of projects in this sector.


What’s happening in the world?

·          Countries are adopting strict emissions controls and commitments, led from voluntary climate change response and global political summits.

·          In some jurisdictions planning policy is driving requirements for future zero carbon developments.

·          Security of supply and the price of grid power act as drivers for self-sufficiency and off-grid supply. Financial and fiscal packages such as feed-in tariffs from Governments aim to attract investors and developers.

·          Waste regulations and landfill directives are impacting many developed countries.

·          Flexible mechanisms from Kyoto such as JI and CDM provide opportunities for investors and developers to realise additional ‘carbon value’ from renewables projects in large parts of the world.


These socio-economic and political factors are driving intense growth in the renewable energy sector.


Who we advise

·          Investors – seeking cost validation and technical due diligence to make a sound decision.

·          Developers – seeking advice on concept, feasibility and detailed design.

·          Project Developers – seeking programme management, feasibility, logistics support and assessment of carbon value and risk.

·          Corporate Organisations – seeking off-grid investment angles, on-site generation feasibility or validation of clean technology investment.

·          Infrastructure Operators – seeking planning and technical support for grid reconfiguration and long-term strategy support.

·          Government – seeking policy advice and strategy support.



The issues we resolve

·          Front end feasibility analysis.

·          Assessment of opportunities to be gained from land banks and property portfolios.

·          Sourcing investment for potential schemes.

·          Securing a route to the financial closure of a renewable energy project.

·          Development of an integrated renewable energy strategy for entire cities or regions.

·          Achieving an effective balance of technologies to provide the greatest overall positive impact.

·          Logistics to deliver a renewable energy project.

·          Life cycle analysis of clean technologies.


From concept to realisation

Globally, renewable energy is one of the most talked about and pressingly important growth industries of our time. As a world-class consultancy in the field of the built and natural environment, WSP is able to advise on the investment and feasibility of clean technology schemes, their construction and long term management. We advise parties on all sides of the table and at all stages of projects in this sector.


Policy advice and strategy development

At the most strategic level we work with Governments, with project teams running mega-developments and with corporate organisations to create sustainable visions, strategies, policies, regulatory structures and technical standards. All of these will embrace the use of renewable technologies. This activity includes:

·          Benchmarking current performance and ambitions

·          Designing renewable energy strategies to realise stated goals

·          Acting as the sustainability guardian for large scale sustainability projects

·          Developing new policies, regulations and guidance to govern and deliver sustainable development

·          Helping governments and project managers understand the risks and opportunities in the context of economic drivers, environmental gains, technology curves and societal acceptability


In developing government policy and strategy support, we provide solutions that can be implemented using direct regulation, marker mechanisms, voluntary tools and self-regulation.


Transactional Support

WSP has a global due diligence team able to advise investors on the viability of proposed renewable energy schemes and initiatives.


If you are looking to invest in clean technology providers, we can provide technical and environmental due diligence to help you consider the risks involved with each form of technology. We also provide cost validation which benefits investors’ financial models when assessing project investment. Alternatively, if you are looking to invest in a renewable energy scheme we’ll help you assess the feasibility, planning and grid connectivity issues likely to be faced during the programme. Our knowledge of the development sector means we can also bring investment opportunities to financiers seeking exposure in this area.


From concept to realisation – our delivery capability

Our breadth of environmental, infrastructure and engineering services enables us to provide practical and influential advice at all stages of the journey to develop and implement effective clean technologies, as detailed below.


Feasibility & Planning

Experts across our business can advise investors, developers and technology providers on a range of technical planning and feasibility issues. These will include logistics and transport infrastructure, environmental impacts, and sustainability credentials.


With a regional and local office network, we are able to support clients across the world in developing their planning strategies. As befits a multi-disciplinary consultancy, we have a broad range of services that have relevance to successful feasibility planning for any form of renewable energy provision. This includes:

·          Environmental impact assessments

·          Ecology and biodiversity

·          Landscape planning and urban design

·          Site suitability studies

·          Conceptual ground models

·          Appraisal of geothermal systems

·          Permitting applications and regulatory advice

·          Public consultation and stakeholder engagement

·          Expert witness support


Specifically for wind projects:

·          Abnormal route strategies

·          Noise, shadow and vibration modelling

·          Transport and traffic management plans


And broader project contexts:

·          Socio-economic assessment

·          Thermal modelling of buildings

·          Energy efficient building design

·          Lighting impact assessment


WSP has particular experience in delivering integrated sustainability strategies that look at the opportunities to be harnessed from the interdependence of all natural resources.


Engineering Design

Our teams at WSP provide integrated consultancy and design advice in the commissioning and construction phases of renewable energy programmes. Services include:


Ground engineering

·          Ground investigation

·          Ground modelling

·          Contaminated land risk evaluation

·          Risk management

·          Ground improvement

·          Liability and remediation cost forecasting

·          Remediation design and contracting

·          Liaison with regulatory authorities

·          Geotechnical testing and design

·          Hydrogeology, including drainage and water control

·          Design and installation of geothermal systems

Civil engineering

·          Inspection and assessment of road structures

·          Drainage maintenance

·          Feasibility of access for plant / materials

·          Procurement of contractors

·          Assessment and alterations to structures

·          Road structures design

Infrastructure engineering

·          Drainage design

·          Foundation design

·          Earthwork modelling

·          Highway design

·          River modelling and engineering

·          High voltage engineering

Construction engineering

·          Structural assessment and design

·          Mechanical and electrical engineering

·          Lighting design

·          Fire engineering

·          Process design for CHP, waste-to-energy and similar plants

·          Operational maintenance and ongoing technical review of performance


Masdar, UAE – world’s first zero-carbon, zero-waste city

WSP, commissioned by architects Foster & Partners, developed them integrated infrastructure strategies for the concept masterplan for Masdar, a city that will house 100,000 people in 6 million square metres. We advised on waste management, the supply, treatment and drainage of water, the distribution of energy and power, and systems for cooling. The energy supply strategy utilises mainly photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies with additional contributions from wind, anaerobic digestion and waste-to-energy (plasma gasification).


Vattenfall AB, Sweden – EIAs, permit applications and layouts for wind farms

WSP has been preparing wind-farm layouts, advising on infrastructure and logistics requirements, managing permit applications and assessing the environmental impacts of a range of wind power initiatives for Vattenfall, Europe’s 5th largest generator of electricity. These include establishing a 20-40MW wind power facility, and looking at wind farm layouts for 5 different types of turbine, using the WindPro package.


Aland, Finland – EIA and environmental permitting for semi-offshore wind park

We are providing environmental impact assessments and permitting advice for the development of AEA Wind Park in Aland Island. The intention is to construct a 150km of 100 MW DC under sea cable and 110kV on-shore transmission line and distribution substations to connect Aland and mainland Finland.

Once completed in 2011, Aland will reach a 70% self sufficiency in terms of green electricity.


Graylingwell, England – 750 net zero-carbon homes and 15,000 sq m of PV panels

This flagship residential development will have the UK’s largest domestic installation of PV solar panels, and all dwellings will meet Code 6 under the Energy credits of the UK Code for Sustainable Homes. WSP has developed the ‘net zero-carbon strategy’ and carried out microclimate and passive design analysis and an overshadowing study to maximise the direct solar radiation for the PV panels.


Alameda Point, California, USA – technical and financial feasibility study

We completed a feasibility assessment of alternative micro-utility infrastructure for the proposed 4000 + home and 511,000 sq m commercial mixed use redevelopment of the former Naval Station Alameda Point in California. We worked with the developer to set goals and a strategy for zero carbon energy supply infrastructure and energy independence through on-site generation. Our work also included strategies for recovery of more than 80% of municipal waste and a reduction of water demand by 80% through water efficiency measures and onsite recovery facilities. Our financial model, based on benchmark costs for alternative technologies, anticipated revenues from energy sales and provided a viability assessment of these technologies and informed the overall commercial model for the development.


Our track record

As you might expect from a global business we have gained experiences from across the world, reflecting different cultures, climates and approaches to the use of clean technologies. For example: across Scandinavia we have been involved in different aspects of more than 30 wind power schemes; in Southern Europe we have delivered programme management and handled peer reviews for renewable project development schemes; and in the Middle East we have been influential in the use of photovoltaic technology and in advising on government policy to shape a sustainable low-carbon future.


Wuxi, China – passive design solutions and clean energy evaluations

In collaboration with Danish architects, WSP is providing a site-wide integrated sustainability strategy for the expansion of the Jiangsu province to accommodate 20,000 more inhabitants. We have been minimising high energy consuming air conditioning through passive design solutions such as orientation, solar heating and solar shading. We have also assessed options for clean energy through integrated renewable systems such as solar thermal and CHP.


Beauly-Denny, Scotland – assessments for a 400kV overhead transmission line

WSP prepared a number of technical submissions to support the proposed Beauly-Denny 400kV transmission line project to provide a new network from the Highlands to Central Scotland. We undertook parts of the Environmental Statement, carried out geotechnical research, delivered transport analysis work associated with the construction phases and produced environmental assessments of proposed sub-stations.


Rutley Capital, Germany – project development of 40,000 sq m of PV installations

WSP is providing project management services and front end engineering support for the development of about 40,000 sq m of photovoltaic installations on commercial properties across Germany. We identified the sites, undertook preliminary technical and financial feasibility studies and connected the property owner to financiers and a turn-key contractor / operator to develop the projects. The projects will benefit from the German feed-in tariffs once the first phase is commissioned in late 2009.


Dubai, UAE – green building regulations

Dubai Municipality and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority commissioned WSP to develop green building regulations for Dubai. The framework is a world first in specifying mandatory requirements across a range of environmental criteria, establishing the city as a world leader in governing urban sustainability. The framework covers areas such as planning and design, energy efficiency, resource efficiency and indoor and outdoor environmental quality.


Destiny USA, – feasibility studies to deliver 100% of energy from renewable resources

Destiny USA is a proposed retail and entertainment complex in Syracuse, New York. To be sited on a 139,000 sq m area the aim is for a green building powered entirely by renewable resources. Our US team delivered a preliminary feasibility study to convert biomass

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Our Capability Document

Our Capability Document

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Defining renewables

Defining renewables

WSP has expertise in all forms of clean technology and storage systems, and also with all new forms of heat and power generation technologies. Our definition of renewable technologies includes: wind, solar, wave, tidal, biogas, landfill gas, biofuels, biomass, hydro, geothermal, waste to energy.

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