Smart city-wide energy system planned in Peterborough

A major new smart city project in Peterborough aims to cut energy bills and provide green heat, electricity and transport for residents.

Led by Peterborough City Council, the Peterborough Integrated Renewables Infrastructure (PIRI) project combines a next-generation heat network, electricity network and electric vehicle infrastructure.

By bringing together energy generation, demand and storage, the £2m project is expected to unlock efficiencies not achievable under the UK’s existing, traditional energy systems.

PIRI aims to deliver a significant drop in CO2 emissions by 2030, while cutting energy bills by up to a quarter.

Other project partners include SSE Enterprise, Element Energy, Cranfield University, Smarter Grid Solutions and Sweco UK.

Nathan Sanders, Managing Director of SSE Enterprise Distributed Energy, said: “PIRI is an exciting project for us to be investing in. We hope it will demonstrate the potential of smart cities to drive local decarbonisation in a commercially viable manner.

It takes a ‘whole systems approach’ to energy one step further by integrating all socio-technical elements into one solution that can help councils hit their net zero targets.”

Shane Slater, founding director and Smart Energy Systems team leader for Element Energy, added: “Our future energy supply can be clean and low cost, but this comes with a key challenge of much greater variability in energy generation.

Element is delighted to support PIRI, which will demonstrate how integration of the diverse energy demands of heat, transport and electricity, balancing supply and demand across day-to-day and seasonal variations, can deliver an efficient energy infrastructure that will be clean, secure and affordable for end users for decades to come.”

Sign up to our newsletter

Meet our experts