As the country grapples with the challenge of squeezing more renewables into the energy mix, it’s somewhat surreal to think there are some places generating so much clean power they’re having to curtail it to avoid overloading the grid. Yet that is the position the Scottish isles of Orkney find themselves in today. Once dependent on imported coal and gas from the Scottish mainland, the archipelago’s landscape is now adorned with wind turbines, while many of the houses have solar panels on their roofs. Innovative technologies like tidal turbines, and wave energy devices can be seen from shore, and there’s even a hydrogen fuelling station used for some of the council’s fleet of vehicles. Interest in these projects is high around the islands, but not just from engineers and energy specialists. My taxi driver was very keen to point out that Orkney is at the cutting edge of sustainable energy. This is no doubt due to the engagement that the Reflex team have already been doing within the community. As Orkney is already experiencing the impact of significant intermittent generation, the Reflex project is presenting invaluable opportunities to demonstrate the benefits of storage and demand-side management that a smart, flexible and fair energy system could deliver.
Catapult Energy Systems 27th Feb 2020 read more »