SSE Enterprise has joined the launch of a project looking to create the largest smart city-wide energy system in the UK.
The £2 million Peterborough Integrated Renewables Infrastructure Project is being led by Peterborough Council, with the aim to cut energy bills and provide green heat, electricity and transport.
It brings together a local electricity network and heat network with energy generation and local demand, such as EV charge points. This, SSE said, unlocks efficiencies not deliverable under the existing siloed energy system, adding it is "particularly effective" in built up areas where the electricity network is constrained.
Already, the Peterborough Energy Recovery Facility currently turns unwanted waste into electricity and heat in the form of steam. This could go further, with the potential for over 16MWth to be sent to heat local businesses and homes, according to the council, which also pointed to plans to install 50 fast charging points for cars. This is alongside plans from Stagecoach to relocate and electrify a 90 bus depot.
As part of the project, demand and supply balancing technology will be used, with buses to be charged at night when demand is lower and businesses to use additional electricity at different times of the day to boost their resilience and reduce their carbon emissions.
Neil Kirkby, managing director of SSE Enterprise, said the project will “showcase the potential of smart urban energy systems and help drive local decarbonisation in a commercially viable manner”.
It is to build upon the whole system approach offered by SSE’s distributed energy business and brings together a group of “leading organisations that can help cities transition to net zero by merging energy infrastructure to maximise carbon savings”.