Festival of Thrift: £10k Green Power Challenge

12 May 2022

Festival of Thrift is the UK’s festival of sustainability, celebrating its 10th Year in 2022.

At Festival of Thrift, our focus has always been on how we as individuals can make those small changes, the shift to thrift, that will add up to a big difference for the future of our planet, and encourage others to join in.

Building on our ethos and our existing sustainable working practices we are now looking to challenge ourselves to do more to minimise the impact of our festival and work towards delivering a net-zero festival.

We have pledged to put into place a lasting strategy to ensure our own sustainability and reduce our impact on the planet and share this journey with our audience.

Festival of Thrift has published our action plan on our website and started measuring our carbon emissions in 2021, using this data as the benchmark to measure and further develop our sustainability goals over the coming years. We made a carbon offset donation to Ecolibrium of £2530 from car parking proceeds in 2021 and are now working with local partners on a biodiversity study on our festival site.

How could we ‘green power’ our festival site?

The Problem

As a festival on a greenfield site, we have a heavy reliance on diesel generators to supply our power. We have identified suppliers who can provide lower carbon generation/energy solutions, but these are located in the South East and thus the carbon emissions associated with their deployment here would mean this solution is counterproductive. We have previously featured solar, and bike-powered stages at the festival, and are now looking for further new and innovative solutions that are safe, reliable and capable of powering one area or stage and of course that delivers a notable carbon emissions reduction, that can be used year on year.

The Solution

Working with partners at Teesside University & Creative Fuse, Festival of Thrift is delighted to launch their Net-Zero Design Challenge, sponsored by Anglo American and supported by Tees Valley Combined Authority and Redcar & Cleveland Council.

Bringing together local SMEs and students to work together in a one-day design sprint format to explore innovative design solutions to green power one aspect of our festival site.

Each team will develop their own ideas over the course of the design sprint and those solutions submitted to a judging panel. The overall winner would receive a grant of £10,000 from Anglo American to develop a prototype solution to be used at this year’s festival on 24th & 25th September 2022. Creative Fuse will provide product development support.

This challenge will support SMEs in the region to explore and innovate within the growing bio-economy sector, inspire the next generation of engineers & designers, and stimulate new product development.

The Brief

The prototype needs to deliver a 3-phase supply of 48A, per phase, in order to power one stage/area at the festival. This would power our main stage and several catering units. Ideally, the outlet would be a 63A 3-phase outlet.

It needs to be safe! Festival of Thrift is a public event with 50,000 attendees. We must ensure our visitors’ safety. Any system must comply with current electrical standards for the designed system.

It needs to be reliable and incorporate a backup plan in case of failure. This prototype will be the main power source for one stage/area of the festival so we need to be assured that it will not fail over the weekend.

It must be a standalone solution, not requiring additional power from any other source.

This is an outdoor festival; the system needs to be weatherproof and, if it’s a temporary/mobile solution, it needs to be trailer mounted or liftable with a forklift or Hiab.

Design Sprint

This full-day facilitated design sprint will take place on Friday 27 May at (Teesside venue TBC) from 9.30am to 5.30pm

Each business (up to 2 attendees) will be paired with a student as a team on the day.

You will be guided through a fast-paced design sprint style workshop to develop innovative solutions to the brief.  At the end of the day, you will present your strongest idea to a panel of experts. The experts will judge the idea on a set of agreed criteria and the winning team will receive an Innovation Fund of £10,000 to develop their prototype over the coming months.

The solution must be ready in safe, reliable working order by the festival weekend.

The judging panel will be:

  • Adam Long, Production Manager at Festival of Thrift
  • Rob Staniland, Environment & Permitting Manager at Anglo American
  • Chris Moon, Assistant Director of Climate Change at Redcar & Cleveland Council
  • Gareth Fletcher, Technology Manager (Innovation & Clean Growth) at Tees Valley Combined Authority

You must be an SME based in the North East, Teesside or North Yorkshire to be eligible to apply.

Business support around product development will be provided by Creative Fuse but you must have the expertise, time and facilities within your organisation in which to produce a prototype.

The winning team will be asked to produce a budget of how the £10,000 will be spent.  A list of eligible spending will be provided.

How to Apply

Please complete this application form by 20 May 2022.