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Creating a fairway for greener events

Client: Major sporting organising committee

Location: Kent, UK

Sectors: Events

The Challenge

Combine transformation with tradition for The 149th Open

The Open is golf’s oldest and most international Major championship.  Staged by The R&A - golf’s governing body outside of the US and Mexico - and first played in 1860, The Open attracts the best players from around the world to compete for the famous Claret Jug.  Played on the finest links golf courses around the United Kingdom, the Championship becomes the focus of the sporting world in July each year, with a global broadcast reaching over 80m people.

As temporary power and temperature control supplier for The Open, Aggreko works closely with The R&A on all facets of designing and delivering a sustainable energy model for golf’s original championship.

The Open has changed a lot since the first incarnation back in 1860. And perhaps one of the biggest changes was for this year’s Championship. Events of all shapes and sizes are adapting to the transition to a greener energy supply and the lowering of emissions – and in 2021, The Open was set to do the same.

With 32,000 spectators on site each day, and millions of fans watching the action at home, the onus was very much on providing a dependable power supply.. So how could The R&A combine reliable energy with a decarbonised solution?

The R&A wasn’t the only one who had years of experience up their sleeves…

Project fact file

Emissions saved 648,730 kg
From first kit on site to final uplift of kit 5 Months
HVO used 260,334 Litres
Planning 1 Year
Power capacity via 92 canopy gen sets 15 MVA

The Solution

A combination of solar, battery and greener fuel

The strength of our solution began in the planning stage. Our experts began devising potential energy packages that addressed the unique needs of staging The Open around a year before the Championship teed off.

And we came to the conclusion that a hybrid energy supply would meet the demand in the best way.

The plan would be to break our solution up into two main event requirements. The first system would be one of our containerised solar packages, working alongside a 135 kVA battery unit and a 125 kVA generator. And our decarbonisation efforts didn’t stop there.

For the first time in The Open’s history, the generators  on site were entirely fuelled by HVO - a sustainable biodiesel derived largely from waste & residue feedstock, specifically used cooking oil.

A second electric vehicle showcase microgrid was required as well. This would power ten 7 kW EV chargers provided by British green mobility  company Connected Kerb. This system was also powered by Aggreko’s containerised solar solution, a 300 kVA battery unit and a 125 kVA genset using HVO to secure uninterrupted power supply.

The Aggreko green power solutions deployed at The 149th Open can rapid-charge electric vehicles from zero to 80% capacity in approximately 40 minutes and is able to serve the 500 kW peak load where solar or mains supply energy is not viable. This installation was powered by Stage V HVO fuelled generators to supercharge the fully electric Mercedes-EQ vehicles operating within the Player’s Official Courtesy car fleet.

The Impact

Charging forward with a greener championship

Our innovative solution was the first time we have deployed a renewable electric vehicle charging infrastructure solution, completely off-grid.

The R&A enjoyed the uninterrupted power it required to put on a global sporting show – as well as an unprecedented cleaner energy supply. This greener energy was used not only to power the event - but it was a comprehensive solution that encompassed the construction and de-rigging of the event too.

With the combination of solar and battery power allied with HVO biodiesel – this globally-recognised golf championship showed the world that an event on this scale can be powered using more sustainable solutions.

In fact, more than 600,000 kgs of emissions were saved using HVO fuel alone.

And it can be done without compromising on dependability.