A project which aims to revolutionise the way energy is generated, stored, shared and consumed is under way in West Sussex – in full compliance with Covid-19 restrictions.
SmartHubs is a £31 million demonstrator to integrate decarbonisation of heat, transport and energy across social housing, transport, infrastructure and private residential and commercial properties.
Featuring homegrown UK Clean Tech pioneers, the project's ambition is to create fully integrated Smart Local Energy System (SLES) – encompassing power generation, battery storage and EV charging.
Part-funded through the Government’s modern industrial strategy by Innovate UK, SmartHubs brings together innovative technology systems and business models to deliver a replicable, scalable, distributed energy resource management system (DERMS) of the future.
The SmartHubs VPP, powered by Moixa’s GridShare technology will aggregate and manage the large fleet of hybrid systems across transport, heat and power to deliver a stronger, cheaper, cleaner grid. Moixa will also provide up to 350 smart solar panel and battery systems to deliver sustainable, low-carbon energy to social homes, schools, businesses and the local public sector in West Sussex. Up to 250 electric vehicle charging points to support the transition to low carbon transport will also be installed.
Matthew Lumsden, Connected Energy chief executive and chair of the SmartHubs Steering Committee said: “SmartHubs is a massive project for a massive challenge, working with a local authority committed to both the Climate Change Agenda and supporting SME scale up.
“Working on a project like this during a global pandemic is a challenge but it’s more important than ever that we can create a replicable model for the rest of the UK to follow.”
“The technologies involved in the project have differing degrees of maturity and therefore are attractive to different types of investors--part of the challenge when bringing together energy systems is not only the physical integration of the technologies, it is also to find appropriate investors to co-fund the project and understand the holistic nature of it.” said Matthew.
Rob Saunders, challenge director, Prospering From the Energy Revolution, UKRI: “Investing in these energy systems of the future - more localised, more intelligent and built on renewable sources to deliver cheaper, cleaner energy - will be central to the UK’s net zero plans and the SmartHubs project has shown the potential to be an exciting part of this strategy.”
Steve Read, director of environment and public protection at West Sussex County Council said: “The lessons we learn will help the Government to plan ahead and adapt our national energy system to the fundamental changes taking place. These include the growth in renewable energy supply, increasing demand for energy from electric vehicles and other innovations and the challenge of balancing energy supply and demand.”