A project that aims to revolutionise the way energy is generated, stored, shared and consumed has been launched in West Sussex.
The SmartHubs Smart Local Energy System (SLES) is a £31m demonstrator that will integrate energy management across social housing, transport, infrastructure and private residential and commercial properties.
Companies and organisations involved in the project include Moixa, ICAX, PassivSystems, ITM Power, Connected Energy, Newcastle University and West Sussex County Council.
Moixa’s GridShare technology will power the SmartHubs virtual power plant (VPP) and the company will also provide 250 smart photovoltaic battery systems to social homes, schools, businesses and the local public sector as well as up to 250 electric vehicle charging points.
ICAX is designing and installing a marine source heat pump to transfer heat from the sea water in Shoreham Harbour to heat adjacent buildings of the Shoreham Port Authority.
PassivSystems will install 250 air source heat pumps in domestic social and private homes, with smart controls to optimise efficiency by predicting demand and responding to demand side response (DSR) signals.
ITM Power is designing, building and deploying a 2 MW electrolyser to enable onsite generation of hydrogen for a bus and passenger car refuelling station. As well as providing zero carbon fuel for transport, this will support the local energy system.
Connected Energy will deliver a 12 MW in-front-of-the-meter battery energy storage system in Sompting, West Sussex, as well as nine 300 kW behind-the-meter battery systems across the region, and up to five EV charging hubs with integrated photovoltaics and battery energy storage. These systems will use around 1,200 second-life electric vehicle batteries and provide grid balancing across the whole project. The 12 MW system alone has a total capacity of 14.4 MWh, the energy equivalent of powering 1,695 average homes for a whole day.
Newcastle University’s Electrical Power Research Group is providing data analysis and system modelling for the project.
Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), has provided funding for SmartHubs SLES through its Prospering from the Energy Revolution challenge which focuses on the development of smart systems that can support the transtition to renewable energy.
“The SmartHubs demonstrator has shown a revolutionary approach in combining expertise and innovation across energy generation, storage and use with game-changing technologies combined into a cleaner, more flexible system that is fit for the future,” said Rob Saunders, challenge director at UKRI. “Investing in these energy systems of the future — more localised, more intelligent and built on renewable sources to deliver cheaper, cleaner energy – will be central to the UK’s net zero plans and the SmartHubs project has shown the potential to be an exciting part of this strategy.”
SmartHubs SLES is expected to be fully operational by September 2021.
For an insight into how smart tech will change the face of the built environment, read Osborne Clarke’s report Future Proof Real Estate: Is the property sector ready for the 2020s?
Tags: Smart Energy