The Western Isles and Skye are to be used for a pilot project aiming to make a fundamental change in how electricity is distributed in Scotland. Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) is planning to use local generators on the islands as part of the “modern electricity grid of the future”. SSEN is working with smart energy software Piclo, a platform designed by Open Utility. Open Utility announced nearly half a million in funding from Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) department’s Energy Entrepreneur fund to develop it new online marketplace in 2017. The plans will look to move away from using power from dirty diesel generators during maintenance or a fault and switch to cleaner wind or hydro power. SSEN will also look to involve a number of local businesses in the project. If successful, it could mean cheaper energy bills for customers as SSE pay local generators to export during times of need. The energy distribution will be managed by Open Utility’s peer-to-peer energy flexibility platform. SSEN says the initiative in the Western Isles and Skye will be a significant step in developing the flexible network of the future.
The Wensleydale Creamery makes one of England’s best-loved varieties of cheese, but it also produces waste. Now, the bi-products are being put to use creating biogas – the latest evidence of the growing role of cheese in green energy production.
Northumberland County Council has announced plans to install a high-tech solar farm at the back of its County Hall in Morpeth. The scheme will also see 60 new electric vehicle (EV) charging points installed in the structure of the solar farm, which will be suspended above the hall’s car parking spaces. The £2.3m scheme will be half-funded via a European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) grant, while the council will cover the other 50%. The cost of the scheme is eventually expected to be covered by the savings it will generate for the council’s energy costs.
A COUNCIL has scooped a top gong at a national awards ceremony for its commitment to solar power. Portsmouth City Council topped the list at the national Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (Adept) president’s awards. It came following work by the city authority to assist neighbours West Sussex County Council in delivering a major solar panel scheme. The huge initiative, known as the Solar Power for Schools Programme, saw dozens of schools across Sussex being fitted with the cash-saving devices.
Engineers in Stirling are getting ready to open the UK’s first low-carbon energy hub which uses waste water. Scottish Water aims to heat several public buildings, including a school, a leisure centre and a stadium, through a mixture of cutting-edge technologies, including heat pumps, at its sewage works at Forthside. Their £6 million scheme, which has financial backing from Stirling Council and the Scottish Government, was visited by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon yesterday ahead of its switch-on next month. The new energy hub consists of a conventional natural gas combined heat and power (CHP) engine, heat from a waste water heat pump system, thermal stores and back-up gas boilers for the district heating network. The CHP engine generates heat for the public buildings and electricity for the sewage plant and the waste water heat pumps. The heat from waste water technology, provided by SHARC Energy Systems, uses a heat recovery unit to separate liquid and solid waste, which is returned to the treatment process. A heat exchanger transfers the heat from the waste water to the clean water using a closed loop system. A heat pump increases the temperature of the water, which is then delivered to the district heat network. Electric heat pumps – essentially reverse fridges – are being developed on an industrial scale across the planet. In Clydebank, local authorities hope to use pumps to capitalise on the relative warmth of the local river to heat a new neighbourhood. Scotland has Europe’s worst record on renewable heat.