A Premier Inn in Edinburgh is claiming to be the first hotel in the UK to run on battery power, after announcing today the installation of a 100kW lithium ion battery. The battery, installed by E.ON, will help the 200-room hotel cut power costs by drawing power from the grid during off-peak hours, when energy is cheaper, and storing it until peak time. Premier Inn said it expects the new system to save £200,000 in energy costs every year. The Scottish hotel was chosen to trial the new system because of the country’s high levels of renewable power, which can mean large fluctuations in the rates of power production during the day. By buying power to store when it is cheap and abundant, thanks to high winds or sunny days, Premier Inn said it will be helping National Grid better match supply and demand. Energy giant E.ON supplied and installed the battery technology, and if the trial proves successful it could be extended more widely across the Premier Inn estate. Energy storage costs have been falling rapidly in recent years, and Premier Inn is the latest in a series of major brands to experiment with using batteries to cut power costs. Last year DIY giant Kingfisher (which owns B&Q) invested in the technology for its stores, as did the Emirates football stadium.
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Premier Inn said the Edinburgh hotel had been chosen as the site of the trial due in part to Scotland’s high penetration of variable wind power. Should the project be deemed a success, Premier Inn has stated it would consider extending the trial to further hotels, with 169 of the brand’s hotel’s currently benefitting from on-site solar installations. Richard Oakley, customer accounts director at E.On, said that adding the “flexibility of battery storage” to the site, the utility would be able to help parent company Whitbread upgrade to a “full-board option” of energy management benefits. “Premier Inn is showing how hotel chains and large power users can further save money, reduce their carbon footprint and support the development of a lower-carbon, smarter energy grid in the UK,” he said.
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