A revolutionary community energy storage project is being commissioned in The Meadows area of Nottingham where the first household battery storage unit has now been installed.
The batteries store excess solar energy and cheap off-peak electricity so they can be used when the sun is not shining and prices are expensive. This reduces energy bills for the householder and the load on the local grid.
The project will also install larger ‘community’ batteries and will look into the possibilities that exist for the community to ‘share’ energy, rather than being totally reliant on the existing grid system.
The systems are installed free of charge to the householder and community by the innovative project, SENSIBLE (Storage Enabled Sustainable Energy for Buildings and Communities), which is European-funded and led by The University of Nottingham and MOZES, the Meadow’s Community Energy Group. The systems are being installed by the award-winning charity, Nottingham Energy Partnership and renewable energy installers, T4 Sustainability.
Energy storage technology means less reliance on the grid, which creates more sustainable communities. The project will also examine the potential advantages of selling and sharing electricity produced by individual homes between members of the community, whose ‘communal batteries’ will be located in a local school and library.
Paul Chandler from T4 Sustainability who commissioned the first system in March said, ‘The first installation has shown that the system is working very well with over 80 per cent efficiency, meaning it can power a house overnight and offer real financial and environmental benefits.’
Julian Marsh, architect and member of MOZES added, ‘This project makes the most of domestic solar energy generation. This means more energy will stay within the community, reducing the need to draw on energy from the grid, thus reducing household electricity bills.’
Dr Lee Empringham, Principal Research Fellow from The University of Nottingham and project lead in Nottingham said, ‘We will monitor household energy patterns for 12 months to see what benefit there is to storing the excess energy and to see how people react to their “free” electricity in the evenings. We will also research the storage of thermal energy (heat) produced using electricity from solar PV panels together with dual tariff systems to reduce the total energy costs.’
The SENSIBLE consortium brings together partners from six European countries including Germany, Finland, France, Portugal, Spain and the UK. There are three demonstrator sites which include Évora in Portugal, Nuremberg, Germany and Nottingham, UK.
SENSIBLE will work towards achieving the 2030 target set by the European Union, namely to:
- reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent and
- create a sustainable energy supply
SENSIBLE’s official EU name is SENSIBLE H2020-LCE 2014-3; the Grant Agreement Number is: 645963.
For more information about SENSIBLE please visit the project website www.h2020-project-sensible.eu
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