A new smart grid project in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire will see the development of a local private grid that can deliver low-cost, low-carbon energy for industrial, commercial and domestic users.
The £200k project, supported by funding from UK Research and Innovation, will develop a proposal for a multi vector (electricity, gas, heat and hydrogen) energy system that is capable of being scaled up to other regions of the UK.
According to the North West Energy Innovation District (EID), which is leading the project, it is based on an innovative operating system which will be the first digital and virtual platform for the smart management of the whole energy network.
Work is already underway in the region to create a local grid with an investment of £14m committed at Peel Environmental’s Protos site. This will provide a grid connection to connect local power generation assets, such as Bioenergy Infrastructure Group’s 21.5MW biomass facility, through a microgrid to existing energy-intensive manufacturing.
“With the private and public sector working together, this project will show how connecting energy users to local sources of energy generation can reduce costs, cut carbon emissions and increase energy security,” commented EID chair Ged Barlow. “The impacts could be huge with the aim to create a network where energy costs are cut by at least 20%.”
Councillor Karen Shore, cabinet member for the environment on Cheshire West and Chester Council, added: “The economy of the North West of England, and particularly Cheshire, is driven by energy, with around 5% of the UK’s energy currently consumed in north Cheshire. The region is leading innovation in the sector and we have the opportunity to put Cheshire on the map with the UK’s first major industry-backed local energy system.”
The North West EID brings together energy users, network owners, innovators and partners – including EA Technology, Burns & McDonnell, Urenco, Cadent Gas, SP Energy Networks and Peel Environmental – working alongside Cheshire & Warrington LEP, Cheshire West and Chester Council and the University of Chester.
Tags: Smart Energy