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News Article | November 18, 2015
Site: cleantechnica.com

Today, more than 160 corporate executives are gathering at Bloomberg’s New York City headquarters for a meeting of Rocky Mountain Institute’s Business Renewables Center (BRC). The over-capacity, invitation-only event is the latest proof point of corporations’ fast-growing interest in purchasing large amounts of renewable energy. After signing a record 1.2 GW of utility-scale wind and solar power in 2014, corporations have smashed that record—with two months still to go in the year. Through November 17, 2015, corporations had signed more than 2 GW of power purchase agreements (PPAs) for large-scale, off-site renewable energy, according to the BRC’s tracking of publicly announced deals. The BRC and its members—corporate buyers, advisors, and sponsors—are at the heart of this major market shift that’s increasingly putting corporations in the renewable energy driver’s seat. Across 2014 and 2015 YTD, BRC-affiliated companies were part of three out of every four corporate deals. Since Friday, BRC companies have announced multiple major deals totaling an estimated 475 MW, enabling the annual corporate PPA market to surpass 2 GW for the first time. Those transactions include BRC corporate member Equinix announcing 225 MW of new renewable energy deals, including 100 MW from BRC sponsor Invenergy’s Wake Wind Energy Facility in Texas and 125 MW of wind from BRC sponsor NextEra Energy Resources. “We’re seeing the market move beyond the few pioneering first movers into a growing list of fast followers eager to pursue large renewable energy transactions,” says Hervé Touati, manager director at Rocky Mountain Institute and head of the BRC. “The BRC is establishing itself as the go-to member-based marketplace where they all come together, sharing knowledge so that more renewable deals can happen sooner and easier.” Since its previous semiannual meeting in May in San Francisco, the BRC’s membership has more than doubled. BRC companies now represent total annual revenues of $1.3 trillion, global annual electricity consumption of 41.7 TWh (equivalent to ~3.8 million American homes), and for publicly traded companies, a collective market capitalization of $2.14 trillion. New corporate members include Autodesk, Avery Dennison, Cisco, Digital Realty, EMC Corporation, Equinix, Etsy, FedEx, Microsoft, Starwood Hotels, Steelcase, Workday, Xanterra Parks & Resorts, Yahoo!, and others. “Microsoft takes its commitment to environmental sustainability very seriously, and we are working to grow our renewable energy portfolio,” says Brian Janous, Director of Energy Strategy at Microsoft. “We’re very excited to join the BRC, to both share our experiences with others and work with others to develop best practices. Together with the BRC, we can streamline corporate renewable energy procurement and bring more wind and solar online faster.” New sponsors include 3Degrees, Affordable Solar, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Capital Power, Community Energy, Duke Energy Renewables, EDF Renewable Energy, Gaelectric, Iberdrola Renewables, Infinity Wind Power, K&L Gates, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, ReneSola, Renewable Energy Systems Americas, Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, SoCore Energy, SolarCity, Sol Systems, Tradewind Energy, and WSP Group. Recent weeks leading up to the BRC meeting today have brought several other strong signs about this substantial market trend: “The market is moving fast, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see additional major developments before the year is out,” says Lily Donge, principal of the BRC. “Corporations are speaking loudly: they want renewable energy, and we’re proud of the role the BRC and our members have in making that happen.” Reprinted with permission.    Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.”   Come attend CleanTechnica’s 1st “Cleantech Revolution Tour” event → in Berlin, Germany, April 9–10.   Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.  


News Article | November 20, 2015
Site: cleantechnica.com

So… this happened. While James Inhofe, US Senator and climate change denier-in-chief, was leading the charge against President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, his supposed constituents in the world of capitalist enterprise were buying up clean power hand over fist. To take just one example, in 2014, private corporations accounted for fully 25% of new installed wind power capacity in the US, and according to the latest figures, you ain’t seen nothing yet. The new clean power update comes through the sustainable solutions nonprofit Rocky Mountain Institute, from its Business Renewables Center. The mission of the BRC is to facilitate utility-scale clean energy buys for the private sector, and it has been very busy of late. At an event in New York earlier this week, BRC reported that corporations in the US are already set to zip past last year’s record-setting pace of clean power buys. Within just the past 10 months, corporations have signed up for more than 2 gigawatts of utility-scale solar and wind power, far beyond last year’s 12-month mark of 1.4 gigawatts. BRC isn’t shy about taking its share of credit for the trend, noting that it has facilitated about 75% of corporate clean power buys within the past two years. BRC members also make a good showing in support of the Obama Administration’s efforts to engage the private sector in national clean power and energy efficiency initiatives. The latest list of US EPA Green Power Leaders includes about a half-dozen BRC members, and about a score are included in the 81-strong list of corporations signing on to the American Business Act on Climate Pledge. Though many BRC member corporations are not exactly household names, together they pack a huge punch. Here’s the rundown from BRC: “BRC companies now represent total annual revenues of $1.3 trillion, global annual electricity consumption of 41.7 TWh (equivalent to ~3.8 million American homes), and for publicly traded companies, a collective market capitalization of $2.14 trillion.” To give you an idea of the resources that corporate America is pouring into clean power, here’s a taste from the BRC blog: “New sponsors include 3Degrees, Affordable Solar, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Capital Power, Community Energy, Duke Energy Renewables, EDF Renewable Energy, Gaelectric, Iberdrola Renewables, Infinity Wind Power, K&L Gates, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, ReneSola, Renewable Energy Systems Americas, Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, SoCore Energy, SolarCity, Sol Systems, Tradewind Energy, and WSP Group.” You can get the full list from the BRC website, and if you’re surprised to see Lockheed Martin among the members, we aren’t. Among other projects, the company has been dabbling in ocean thermal energy. Speaking of the American Business Act on Climate Pledge, on October 19, President Obama announced new commitments to this corporate clean power initiative, which now includes the aforementioned 81 signers after launching in July with just 13 on the list. Here’s the latest rundown on the group: “These 81 companies have operations in all 50 states, employ over 9 million people, represent more than $3 trillion in annual revenue, and have a combined market capitalization of over $5 trillion.” Among the promises made by these companies are a pledge to use 100% renewable energy, and to publicize their support for a strong outcome in the upcoming COP21 climate talks in Paris. By the way, we bring up light bulbs because the opposition to the Clean Power Plan is following exactly the same pattern as the light bulb wars, which are finally winding down after roaring into life at the beginning of President Obama’s first term. The light bulb wars involved opposition to the required phasing in of new federal efficiency standards set by law in 2007, under the Bush Administration. Aside from stirring up lots of publicity for certain federal legislators (okay, so they were all Republicans but who’s counting?) and ginning up fears of government officials charging into your bedroom to change your light bulbs, the whole dust-up didn’t stop the new regulations from taking effect as scheduled. More to the point, all the hysterical braying over light bulbs didn’t stop the lighting industry — the actual target of the new standards — from taking the opportunity to showcase their innovation skillz and create new jobs. And of course, the US economy certainly didn’t take a nosedive after the new standards were phased in. The crash happened in 2008, and the standards began taking effect in 2012. Keep that in mind while Senator Inhofe — well known champion of the free market and loyal friend to the fossil lobbying organization Americans for Prosperity (come to think of it, those two things are mutually exclusive, but oh well) — plots the trajectory of his next snowball. For all the sound and fury, there’s no there there. Except for a few holdouts, corporate America is moving on. Follow me on Twitter and Google. Image via Rocky Mountain Institute    Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.”   Come attend CleanTechnica’s 1st “Cleantech Revolution Tour” event → in Berlin, Germany, April 9–10.   Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.  


Wacker J.P.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Brashaw B.K.,University of Minnesota | Ekholm K.,WSP Group
WCTE 2014 - World Conference on Timber Engineering, Proceedings | Year: 2014

The inventory of historic covered timber bridges in the United States is currently at approximately 800, with the majority located in the Northeastern states. The heavy timber trusses are historically significant as many were developed during the early American bridge building era. The deck system that carries the vehicular traffic is typically the limiting system in the load rating process. Also, the deck system sees the most deterioration due to tire abrasion and moisture intrusion and is typically replaced every 30-40 years. This study is aimed at evaluating several lightweight replacement deck options that upgrade structural capacity and improve its durability characteristics. Most of the replacement systems were constructed in full-scale test sections and tested to failure in the laboratory. This poster presentation will summarize the findings from this research study which is part of the National Historic Covered Bridge Preservation program sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration.


Lin-Hai Z.,Beijing Jiaotong University | Jian-Ping W.,University of Southampton | Jian-Ping W.,WSP Group | Jian-Ping W.,Post University | Yi-Kui R.,Beijing Jiaotong University
Control Engineering Practice | Year: 2012

This paper presents a collaborative fault diagnosis system for compensation capacitor in track circuit using adaptive optimal kernel time-frequency representations (AOK-TFRs) and adaptive genetic algorithm (AGA) based on train operational data recorded in cab signal. First, AOK-TFRs technique is applied for single compensation capacitor fault diagnosis. To deal with multiple faults, the AGA based method is introduced, however, with a relatively low efficiency of diagnosis. According to the characteristics of both methods, a collaborative fault diagnosis system is established. Experiments show that the system greatly improves the diagnosis efficiency and can be used successfully. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Fu F.,WSP Group | Lam D.,University of Leeds | Ye J.,University of Leeds
Journal of Constructional Steel Research | Year: 2010

Semi-rigid composite connections with precast hollowcore slabs are a newly developed technique with few applications in current construction practice. The research on the structural behaviour of this new type of connection is limited, with no existing method available to predict its important characteristics such as moment and rotation capacities. In this paper, based on the parametric studies of the three-dimensional finite element model and full-scale tests, analytical methods to calculate the moment and rotation capacity of this type of composite joint are proposed. A comparison between the proposed calculation method and the full-scale test results was made, and good agreement was obtained. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Yeates S.,WSP Group | Enoch M.,Loughborough University
Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Urban Design and Planning | Year: 2013

Travel plans are packages of measures tailored to meet the needs of individual sites, which aim to promote greener, cleaner travel choices and reduce reliance on the car. Travel plans deliver transport improvements in a cheap, quick, acceptable and effective way, but to work properly they require institutions such as employers and schools to participate, which they are often unwilling to do voluntarily. Consequently, in the UK travel plans are now often legally required by local authorities through the planning process. This means land developers are major travel plan stakeholders, yet little is known of their views. The aim of this paper is to help redress this by reporting the results of 10 exploratory interviews with informed developers on the topic. The paper highlights that developers are generally positive about travel plans, but have concerns relating to financial penalties and associated future costs. Recommendations are made for practice and policy.


Parker J.,WSP Group
Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Civil Engineering | Year: 2013

The Shard in central London is 310 m high, making it the tallest building in western Europe. Designed for client Sellar Property Group, it is a 'vertical city', containing shops, offices, restaurants, hotel, apartments and a public viewing gallery. This paper describes the design and construction of the building, which has a concrete core, steelframed floors to level 40, concrete floors to level 69 and a steel 'spire' at the top. Various innovative construction techniques were used to save time and improve safety, including building the three-storey basement and core topdown, installing plunge columns to high levels of accuracy, and using modular construction for the spire.


Fitzpatrick N.,Fitzpatrick Referrals | Caley A.,WSP Group | Farrell M.,Fitzpatrick Referrals
Veterinary and Comparative Orthopaedics and Traumatology | Year: 2014

Method: Two groups of dogs were selected representing the normal Labrador Retriever population (n = 13) and Labrador Retrievers with confirmed MCD (n = 13). Normal dogs had “normal” hip and elbow radiographic scores in line with the International Elbow Working Group and British Veterinary Association guidelines. Medial coronoid disease was confirmed using arthroscopy after kinematic analysis was performed with a six degrees of freedom marker set.Results: The diseased elbow was nine degrees more extended between 43%-55% of the gait cycle and 16° more supinated prior, early during and after foot strike. The antebrachium was nine degrees more supinated during foot strike and three degrees more abducted during early stance. None of the other parameters were significantly different.Objectives: To determine if the use of a six degrees of freedom marker set would allow new kinematic data of the canine thoracic limbs to be calculated. To identify any significant differences in thoracic limb gait patterns in all planes of motion, between the normal canine population and patients with confirmed medial coronoid disease (MCD).Clinical significance: The use of a six degrees of freedom marker set made it possible for the elbow and antebrachium to be reliably tracked in more than one plane of motion. Significant differences were identified between the normal canine population and those affected by MCD. These data may help elucidate biomechanical factors contributing to aetiopathogenesis of MCD. © Schattauer 2014.


Alexander S.,WSP Group
Large Structures and Infrastructures for Environmentally Constrained and Urbanised Areas | Year: 2010

It is only in Eurocodes that the concept of designing for specifically defined accidental actions using reduced partial safety factors has appeared in codes of practice outside the UK. This paper considers a range of accidental scenarios including gas explosion, bomb blast, burst water main, flood, roof ponding, car park barriers, horizontal human loads on barriers, snow load, ice accretion, wind load, helicopter hard landing, fire, and local failure. It is concluded that generally the Eurocodes identify accidental design situations successfully, but that both vehicle and human loading on barriers should be more explicitly and better treated, and that roof ponding and ice accretion should also be considered.


Negrisoli G.,WSP Group | Stefanaki K.,WSP Group | O'Connor M.,WSP Group
IABSE Conference, Geneva 2015: Structural Engineering: Providing Solutions to Global Challenges - Report | Year: 2015

Concrete filled hollow steel (CHS) members offer a number of benefits and are often used in tall buildings and other industrial structures. In this case the behaviour of the concrete filled hollow section is investigated as a component of a restrained diagrid truss system at the fire limit state. Firstly, a FE solid model was developed and used to investigate the thermo-mechanical interaction of the composite member under fire loads. The results were used to develop a simplified representation of the member which could be included within a global model of a diagrid truss system and analysed under many different scenarios. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the innovative methodology used, and the results obtained within the detailed analyses to study the inherent capacity of the diagrid structure with no additional passive fire protection.

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