Perth & Kinross Council has become the first place in the world to use spiral-flow battery technology to reduce its carbon footprint.
Designed, developed and manufactured by StorTera, an Edinburgh based developer of intelligent energy storage solutions, the project aims to develop a prototype smart energy at the Friarton Waste Depot.
As well as reducing the Council’s carbon footprint, the new system will help bring down energy costs through smarter energy management while reducing carbon emissions and supporting the move towards low carbon transport and heating.
The smart energy network will help PKC understand the requirements for developing Local Smart Energy Systems that can be built at scale across the Council’s estate and has the potential to help tackle fuel poverty.
The network will demonstrate how energy storage combined with intelligent controls can offer the Council flexibility in its energy demand as well as enhancing how it generates renewable energy.
This smart energy network has the ability to:
• Fully utilise solar power generated on site by storing excess energy in batteries for use when required or when energy prices are high;
• Generate revenue by providing renewable energy to the electricity network when demand is high;
• Power devices such as smart heaters with excess solar generation in turn supporting the electrification of heat; and
• Transfer clean energy between Council sites (peer to peer). For example, transfer solar power generated in a school during summer holidays to another Council site.
PKC praises world first development
Councillor Richard Watters, convener of the Council’s Climate Change and Sustainability Committee, depute convener Councillor Liz Barrett and Councillor Ken Harvey visited Friarton to see the battery in operation on 31 August.
Councillor Watters said: “This is ground-breaking technology that demonstrates our commitment to tackling the climate emergency.
“Innovation will be key to reducing our carbon footprint and this energy storage system, designed and built in Scotland, is the first of its kind to be used in this way and will help Perth become Europe’s most sustainable small city.”
Councillor Watters added: “The Perth & Kinross Smart Energy Network is key to helping us reach net zero.
“Creating a smart energy system will help us reduce our carbon footprint and our energy costs.”
StorTera commits to Perth
Brenda Park, Chief Operating Officer at StorTera, said: “We are extremely proud to have been able to install the world’s first ever smart energy network using our pioneering spiral flow battery technology at the Friarton Recycling Centre.
“We’ve worked closely with Perth and Kinross Council to ensure that our unique system will meet the demands of this site and have high hopes that we will be able to build networks like these at scale across the council area.
“Scotland is producing more and more clean power and it is clear that long duration energy storage will be crucial if we want to meet our net-zero targets.
“Therefore, it is vital that we have smart energy networks like this across Scotland so that when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining energy can be stored and released to the grid.
“The team at StorTera is growing all the time as we continue to revolutionise energy storage in Scotland.”
PKC-SEN was funded by Scottish Enterprise via its Can-Do Innovation Challenge Fund and Jane Martin, Managing Director of innovation and investment at Scottish Enterprise, said: “This is an excellent example of how public sector organisations can play a key role in unlocking innovation and wider economic benefits.
“Perth and Kinross Council’s green energy solution in collaboration with StorTera’s world-first battery technology at its recycling centre will lower costs and reduce emissions and Scottish Enterprise is pleased to have helped support this through our Can Do programme.”
Why This Technology Matters, by Serge Merone, Climate Change & Smart Investment Manager
“It goes without saying, that the need to address the impact of climate change around the world is becoming ever more apparent and urgent. The original concept of a smart energy network (SEN) had simple aims – to reduce carbon emissions in the PKC estate, to reduce the energy costs of the council through smart energy management, and to explore the potential of new income streams from the utilisation of energy storage assets.
“The Can Do Innovation Challenge fund project, supported by Innovate UK, has provided an invaluable opportunity to stimulate businesses to investigate and develop solutions in what will undoubtedly become a large and growing market area of advanced energy management, renewable generation and energy storage systems.
“We can now see this take shape with with Scene Connect installing their smart energy management system, ZUoS, at PKC HQ at 2 High Street, and StorTera installing their smart energy management system at Friarton Waste Depot.
“The Friarton Waste depot is PKC’s biggest waste processing facility and houses much of the Council’s 450-strong fleet of vehicles, all of which will need to be replaced by low carbon alternatives in the next few years. Whilst this is a positive step forward it will mean a large increase in the energy demand at the site – making Friarton a prime location to install the first node of the PKC-SEN (Smart Energy Network).
“As well as providing a valuable insight for the companies involved – by offering a real-world test environment to understand the issues of deploying designs in a commercial context – this will also allow us to manage the renewable solar generation at the site, and to explore how it can be best utilised in supporting EV charging stations and other energy systems.
“This project has given PKC a practical understanding of the issues involved in developing and deploying such systems and will inform projects looking to expand the PKC-SEN throughout the PKC estate and into the wider Perth & Kinross area.
“By exploring the potential of combining public and private energy assets, we aspire to reduce our collective carbon footprint and energy costs. We are particularly interested in how these smart technologies could be applied and used to help with issues around fuel poverty.
“Make no mistake, this first for StorTera is a very important step on a bigger journey. We have learned a huge amount to get to this point, and are looking forward to more of the same as we progress these smart systems on a bigger scale across Perth and Kinross.”