At Kier, we are passionate about becoming a more sustainable business and an important element of this is working collaboratively with our supply chain partners to trial brand-new innovative technologies. Kier understands that sustainability is a mindset which safeguards the three vital features no business can operate successfully without:
▪ A resilient environment
▪ A resilient community
▪ A resilient balance sheet
Kier launched its brand-new sustainability framework, Building for a Sustainable World, in October 2020. The framework focuses on both environmental and social sustainability and as part of this, it has committed to achieving net zero carbon across its own operations and supply chain by 2045. In order to achieve these targets, Kier knows it has to use innovation and work with its supply chain to trial new plant and equipment in order to develop technology to achieve its goal. Kier, PUNCH Flybrid and Sunbelt Rentals are the very first innovators to operate the flywheel energy storage system on a live construction site and have been working together in partnership to reduce CO2 impact and provide social value to local communities of Kier sites. This technology is a large step in the right direction to move towards net-zero carbon.
The project required a static crane to be used to enable the build. The crane on the project could not be connected to the mains supply due to load required. Therefore a generator was required to power the crane. A generator works efficiently between 60-90% load but burns a non-renewable product (diesel) which contributes to climate change. On assessment the crane’s generator was only operating within an efficient factor for an estimated 10% of time, the rest of the time it was running at 5-10% load. This was wasting fuel, putting extra maintenance onto the generator and causing the site teams’ problems. Kier wanted to find a solution that saved carbon and reduced pollutants, as well as providing social value benefits to the surrounding community, including reduced air pollution and less traffic movements and congestion.
Through our procurement partner Sunbelt Rentals Ltd and PUNCH Flybrid, negotiations commenced to deploy and use a prototype PUNCH Flybrid flywheel energy storage system. This is the first time that the system has been trialled in the UK. The trial looked at the potential for using new innovation derived from Formula 1 Technology to reduce the energy required to power the static crane. The flywheel system decreases fuel usage by reducing the generator size needed to power the crane, while still providing enough power to ensure the crane can be used correctly. The site team, along with the Environment Manager, Sunbelt rentals and PUNCH Flybird all worked collaboratively to instigate the project.