The installation of the battery is part of a groundbreaking community energy demonstration and research project, led by the University of Nottingham and funded by Innovate UK, which is a potential model for low-carbon energy solutions at residential developments across the UK.
The Trent Basin development, which is part of the 250-acre Waterside Regeneration area in Nottingham, currently comprises 45 homes and will eventually consist of 500 homes. The £6m investment in the energy project at the site is being delivered through two programmes – the Energy Research Accelerator (ERA) and Project SCENe (Sustainable Community Energy Networks).
Solar photovoltaics are being installed on the site, along with the communal battery, heat stores and ground source heat pumps. A unique community energy company has also been established which residents have the option of joining.
The Trent Basin energy system will be connected to the grid and, in addition to drawing renewable energy generated by the community, will also be able to buy and store electricity from the grid when it is cheapest, and redistribute to meet the demand of residents. In the short term, shared profits from the scheme will help residents to offset energy costs, while in the longer term the intention is to offer reduced price heating to Trent Basin households.
Thinking and working innovatively
A formidable consortium of partners has come together to deliver the scheme, including the developers Blueprint, the University of Nottingham, AT Kearney, Smartklub, Siemens, URBED, Slam Jam, Sticky World, Loughborough University, Solar Ready, and it is supported by Nottingham City Council.
Dr Emma Kelly, Chief Operating Officer of the Energy Research Accelerator, said: “The aim of ERA is to bring together expertise to demonstrate what can be done through thinking and working innovatively and collaboratively. The Community Energy demonstrator at Trent Basin is a great example of how existing technologies can be used to enable communities to significantly reduce their reliance on non-renewable energy sources.”
The Community Energy project is being developed by industry and an academic team headed up by Professor Mark Gillott, Professor of Sustainable Building Design, Faculty of Engineering, at the University of Nottingham.
Revolutionising the energy sector
Professor Gillott is leading the University of Nottingham's research programme at the Trent Basin, including the ERA demonstrator and Project SCENe. He commented: “This technology will have a huge impact on the UK’s energy sector for decades to come. Our aim is to make it commercially viable which will increase the take up of the technology and revolutionise the energy sector. We need a mind shift away from personalised household energy generation, storage and use, to larger community schemes that provide greater efficiencies and cost savings.”
Nick Ebbs, Chief Executive of Blueprint, a public-private partnership committed to the production of sustainable homes and workspaces, which is managing the Trent Basin development, added. “Technologies now exist that mean we can deliver community energy in a way that can bring real benefits to consumers and significantly reduce carbon. There is a need to find ways to store energy typically at night when demand is slack, smoothing out the peaks and troughs of supply and demand, and with this new battery we will be able to do that.”
One of the most novel aspects of the Trent Basin project is how the community energy company is working in conjunction with the residents in order to operate for the benefit of everyone involved.
Maximising technological impact
Charles Bradshaw-Smith co-CEO SmartKlub, the company responsible for innovating and operating the community energy supply company, added: "What's different at Trent Basin is that we are innovating new business models and the role of the community in order to maximise the beneficial impact of the technologies. We aim to create a repeatable offer that can make sustainable developments mainstream all over the UK."
It is anticipated that the installation of the battery and electrical substation will be completed by the beginning of March.
For details of the Community Energy scheme at Trent Basin, visit www.projectscene.uk and for further information about the Energy Research Accelerator, visit www.era.ac.uk
To find out more about the Trent Basin housing development visit www.trentbasin.co.uk
For further information please contact Nick King, Marketing and Communications Manager for the Energy Research Accelerator (ERA), on firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 0115 74 86727 or 07974 391057
Notes to Editors
Trent Basin Trent Basin is a new £100 million residential development which is part of the 250-acre Waterside regeneration area located on the north bank of the River Trent in Nottingham. Trent Basin is a completely new neighbourhood that aims to connect city life and waterside living, creating a contemporary community for low energy living and incorporating well designed green spaces and communal areas.
Trent Basin has been developed by award-winning sustainable property developer Blueprint, a company that looks to lead the field in introducing new technology and innovative practices to its developments, which are always sustainable, well designed, kind on the environment, and great places for people to enjoy, both now and in the future.
Phase One of Trent Basin was completed at the end of 2016. All 5 phases are expected to be completed by 2022, creating a community of 500 low energy homes.
If you would like to visit Trent Basin please contact Isabel Jones at Eden Public relations on 0115 958 8850 email@example.com.
ERA (Energy Research Accelerator) ERA is a key programme within Midlands Innovation – a consortium of research intensive universities (universities of Aston, Birmingham, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham and Warwick), and the British Geological Survey (BGS), which has the overall aim of harnessing the Midlands’ combined research excellence and industry expertise to play a critical role in tackling some of the biggest challenges facing the UK.
Via Innovate UK, the government has committed an initial capital investment of £60m, and ERA has secured private sector co-investment of £120m. ERA’s initial priorities of Geo-Energy Systems, Integrated Energy Systems and Thermal Energy will help deliver the new technologies and behaviours that will open the avenues for its future development and demonstrate the transformative effect ERA can have across the energy spectrum.
University of Nottingham The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with a “distinct” approach to internationalisation, which rests on those full-scale campuses in China and Malaysia, as well as a large presence in its home city.’ (Times Good University Guide 2016). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and the winner of ‘Outstanding Support for Early Career Researchers’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2015. It is ranked in the world’s top 75 by the QS World University Rankings 2015/16. More than 97 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is recognised internationally and it is 8th in the UK by research power according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014. It has been voted the world’s greenest campus for four years running, according to Greenmetrics Ranking of World Universities.
Project SCENe (Sustainable Community Energy Networks) Project SCENe aims to stimulate the adoption of "off grid" energy by home buyers and to research understanding of this Community Energy Systems (CES) concept; alongside how to support customer engagement, energy choices and buy-in to the CES scheme. Project SCENe will design software to aid developers, housing providers, energy services companies and other stakeholders in the energy supply chain interested in the adoption of Community Energy Systems (CES).
Using novel consumer engagement tools and a focus on business model development the consortium will develop and test business model templates that could be used by any developers of large scale housing projects.
Blueprint Blueprint is the specialist regeneration developer behind design-led, low energy, sustainable developments across the East Midlands such as No.1 Nottingham Science Park, Phoenix Square in Leicester and Green Street in Nottingham. The business is a private limited company, wholly owned by Aviva Investors’ igloo Regeneration Fund and Nottingham City Council.
Innovate UK Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency. Innovate UK works with people, companies and partner organisations to find and drive the science and technology innovations that will grow the UK economy - delivering productivity, new jobs and exports. Its aim is to keep the UK globally competitive in the race for future prosperity.
As part of the Government’s investment in energy-efficient technologies, Innovate UK and industry partners have also contributed £5m to the Trent Basin demonstrator. This is a key element within the Government’s Midlands Engine growth agenda to showcase the capabilities of the Midlands in a programme supported by the Midlands Local Authorities, LEPs and Government, thereby enhancing the engineering, manufacturing, research and scientific heritage and expertise across the region and encouraging inward investment.