Wales & West Utilities announces project to explore the role of renewable micro-grids in green energy production

  •  A key aim of this study is to identify locations which could be suitable for microgrid solutions, understand likely technology needs, and explore potential operational use-cases
  •  The micro-grids will produce renewable energy for hard-to-decarbonise buildings, such as schools and leisure centres, whilst also producing hydrogen and storing it for future use
  •  The project is set to benefit facilities with high variability in energy demand by providing resilience in the energy network and reducing reinforcement cost

Micro-grids provide the opportunity to generate energy for a distinct geographical area using solar, wind and hydropower to power larger buildings and generate green hydrogen for future use.

Larger buildings such as universities, college campuses, schools, leisure centres and hospitality sites are considered hard-to-decarbonise, not only because of their size, but also higher energy demands due to on-site facilities such as swimming pools and scientific equipment.

The project will explore how development of micro-grid sites will help decarbonise larger buildings, whilst also producing green hydrogen which can be stored and used later.

Micro-grids with hydrogen production and storage capability could support the UK’s energy transition by offering resilience and flexibility in facilities with high variability in energy demand (e.g. schools) or facilities with high reliance on uninterrupted energy supplies (e.g. hospitals).

Head of Net Zero and Sustainability at Wales & West Utilities, Matthew Hindle, said: “The study is expected to identify facility types and locations that could be suitable for microgrids, understand likely technology configurations, and explore possible operational use-cases. They could also provide flexibility benefits to reduce peak electrical loads, thus reducing reinforcement costs, as well as delivering an energy transition at a lower cost by maximising use of the existing gas infrastructure.”

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