Experts have launched the first phase of a ground-breaking £28.5 million energy system which it is hoped will eliminate the need for fossil fuels in Orkney – and eventually the whole of the UK. The scheme includes plans for a locally-powered electric bus and electric bike “integrated transport system” on the islands, as well as the mass roll-out of electric vehicles. Meanwhile, up to 500 domestic and 100 large-scale batteries will be used to store renewable energy, allowing it to be pumped into the grid when winds drop or the sun disappears. Dubbed the “energy system of the future”, those involved hope it will prove such a success it will eventually be rolled out across the UK and beyond – helping to create a future powered entirely by renewables. Mark Hamilton from Solo Energy, one of the firms involved in the ReFLEX (Responsive Flexibility) scheme, said it was a “world-leading example” of how innovation can drive the transition to green energy. He said: “In Orkney, we’ve got a very high level of renewable generation from wind and solar, and other forms of generation such as wave and tidal. “All of these renewable generation sources are obviously low carbon, but they are intermittent – so the wind comes and goes, the sun comes and goes. The ReFLEX project involves deploying battery systems and smart electric vehicle charging to balance the intermittency of renewables. So what Solo does, we have a software platform which we use to control battery systems across the grid to respond to the intermittency of renewable generation. Orkney is already a world-leader in wave and tidal technology and boasts a high uptake of electric vehicles. The latest project aims to deploy up to 600 extra electric vehicles and 100 flexible heating systems, as well as a Doosan industrial-scale hydrogen fuel cell which produces eco-friendly energy and heat. Once demonstrated in Orkney, experts hope the “virtual energy system” – which aims to link up local electricity, transport, and heat networks into one controllable, overarching system – will be rolled out across the UK and internationally.
Herald 4th April 2019 read more »
The success of a £29 million Orkney energy storage pilot scheme has the potential to generate “tens of thousands” of UK renewables jobs, according to the project developer. Mark Hamilton, chief executive of Solo Energy, described the deal as “huge” for the islands, while creating the blueprint for future jobs in Scotland’s renewable energy sector. Launching today, the £28.5m Responsive Flexibility (ReFlex) project has also received a £14.3m in UK Government backing. The pilot scheme will look to create a “smart energy system” able to interlink local electricity generation from onshore wind, solar and tidal energy into one balanced system.
Energy Voice 4th April 2019 read more »