Local Content Policy

Context

The development of a renewable energy scheme entails substantial capital outlay. In wind energy schemes, for example, each megawatt of installed capacity requires approximately £1 million of capital.

The majority of this capital is spent during the construction phase, with wind turbines being the most expensive component.  As there is currently a very small level of UK input into the wind turbine manufacturing supply chain, PfR would normally need to import most wind turbine components from manufacturers in continental Europe. 

However, it is estimated that 15-20% of the cost of a wind energy development is for work which requires skills typically available from contractors found in most parts of the UK, in other words, using locally-based contractors and local labour. In this context, local may mean within a local authority area or a region.[1]

PfR’s position

Partnerships for Renewables specialises in working with public sector bodies to develop renewable energy projects on public sector land. As a responsible developer we seek to pursue only environmentally-appropriate sites and believe that local communities should derive economic benefit from our projects.

We aim to boost the local economy in two ways; firstly, all our projects have a community benefit fund; and,secondly, it is our policy to use local content where possible during the construction and operational phases of our projects.

Scope

Partnerships for Renewables is committed to working with our main contractors and local development agencies to create opportunities for local suppliers and service providers on our sites.

Provisos

While local content will be encouraged, there are two key provisos:

  • Procurement laws prevent us from guaranteeing the use of local services and labour
  • We will endeavour to maximise local content but will not compromise a project commercially or legally

Types of services

Renewable energy development is a highly-specialised field, requiring the use of specialist components, labour and services. However, a range of suppliers and service providers not directly linked to the green energy sector are still valuable in the construction of a renewable energy scheme.

These types of services include:

  • Transportation – equipment and personnel
  • Materials,e.g. supplying and pouring concrete
  • Electrical connection
  • Civil engineering activities and earthworks, e.g. tracks and hard-standing, foundations, trench digging for cables, basic construction for sub-station housing etc
  • Hospitality and catering
  • Office and cleaning supplies
  • Site services, e.g. portacabins and portaloos
  • Site security
  • Fencing
  • Waste disposal

Additional benefits to local suppliers and service providers

As well as local businesses benefitting financially from working on PfR’s projects, becoming part of PfR’s renewable energy development supply chain will allow them to accrue relevant experience in the sector and be in a better position to export these services to other projects in the area and beyond. 

Working with our main contractors

In most cases, PfR will not contract directly with local providers, but indirectly through our main contractors.

We will select a framework of main contractors using a competitive tender process.  They are expected to have substantial experience in co-ordinating large-scale wind turbine installations in the UK.  Part of the tender submission is a proposal on how they plan to facilitate use of local content (second and third tier sub-contractors) on PfR’s sites.  The quality of the local content proposals will be evaluated during the selection process and contribute to each potential main contractor’s overall score.

Working with bodies such as local Chambers of Commerce and Local Authorities

Local suppliers and service providers may not realise that their products and services could be used in the construction of a local renewable energy scheme.

Partnerships for Renewables will work with bodies such as local Chambers of Commerce and Local Authorities to promote opportunities for local companies to be part of PfR’s renewable energy supply chain.  Through this we aim to encourage local content by providing early details of the typical specification of works communicating with local businesses.

 

November 2010


[1] Centre for Sustainable Energy, July 2009. Delivering community benefits from wind energy development: A Toolkit.  

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Last updated on: 1/27/2014