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Business park seeking energy independence through renewable-powered microgrid

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Cumbria’s Westlakes Science & Technology Park has launched a tender to develop a smart microgrid at the site which would see it become independent from the national grid.

The park’s owners – council-backed profit-for-purpose company Britain’s Energy Coast (BEC) – is looking to appoint an energy partner which will establish a smartgrid capable of powering the two square mile facility.

Some small-scale renewable generation assets are already in place, however BEC wants to expand on this. The company said that the low carbon agenda remained “at its heart” and that it wanted Westlakes to become a “flagship of energy independence”.

Joe Martin, head of funding and energy at BEC, said: “Given the commitment from the leadership team at Britain’s Energy Coast, Westlakes Science & Technology Park has the potential to become a beacon to science parks and estates across Europe… This is a unique opportunity for a talented organisation to partner with BEC to bring our low carbon plans to fruition.”

A tender document outlines the scope of works, which includes assurances that the appointed partner work to ensure Westlakes is capable of “complete independence from grid power and heat” and implement energy generation and distribution technologies across the site.

BEC chief exec Michael Pemberton, said: “Bringing this type of distributed generation to the fore also has the capability to provide added benefits to the commercial residents of our site and the communities we serve in Allerdale and Copeland. We are seeking a dynamic and technically brilliant partner to help us develop our plans that bring about a step change in the way energy is sourced at Westlakes.”

The deadline for responses to the tender is Friday 2 June, with the contract expected to start a month later. 


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