Lambeth Pier connection paves way for greener River Thames

Lambeth Pier.

Electric boats along the River Thames will soon be able to plug in to charge and reduce emissions thanks to a partnership between UK Power Networks and Net Zero Marine Services (NZMS).

UK Power Networks, which distributes energy across London, the East and the South East of the UK, will deliver 1.5MVA of energy to NZMS’s new battery storage facility that will be used to charge electric boats on the River Thames.

This will be the UK’s first ever High Voltage (HV) shore power station above tidal waters. The substation will be based on a fixed tidal platform above an ebb and flow tidal range of 7m. The project is being funded by UK Power Networks’ Green Recovery programme to support new low carbon electricity connections.

As part of the works, UK Power Networks installed 1.8km of new cables and equipment that will allow for the electrification of boats along the Thames. This means lower carbon emissions, reduced water contamination and cleaner air for London.

UK Power Networks has invested £1.2m into the local electricity network to enable the connection to be made. The connection, near Lambeth riverside, was made in June 2023, a month ahead of schedule and will be used from next Summer.

Under the Green recovery scheme, NZMS is developing five shore power locations in central London, which will create a network of HV power infrastructure available for all Thames operators.

UK Power Networks is delivering £66 million investment across 85 sites as part of the Green Recovery programme, to fast-track low carbon energy projects that will help achieve the Government’s Ten Point Plan towards Net Zero by 2050. This supports the transition to net zero carbon emissions and London Mayor, Sadiq Khan’s pathway for London to be Net Zero Carbon by 2030.

Miles Cole, managing director of Net Zero Marine Limited, said: “We are very excited to reach this milestone. To reach net zero targets collaboration across stakeholders is absolutely key and we are delighted with the progress so far.

“We are on a mission to displace the use of diesel on the Thames by building the infrastructure which allows operators to switch to zero emissions technology such as electric vessels. We have worked closely with UK Power Networks and the Green Recovery Scheme has enabled us to unlock hard to reach areas on the Thames.”