A consortium of local partners have celebrated the completion of a successful energy innovation trial that helped 26 homes, 5 schools and an office block in Bristol reap the rewards of more efficient renewable energy.
The £2.8m SoLa Bristol project, the first of its kind in the UK, trialled battery storage devices charged by rooftop solar PV panels in the Knowle West based council-owned homes and work buildings. Participants were able to store power generated by the solar panels during the day to then use the power when it was needed. They also benefited from a ‘Smart Tariff’ deal, allowing them to earn money by exporting their stored energy at peak times onto the electricity grid, reducing their peak energy demand.
Bristol-based Western Power Distribution (WPD) partnered with Bristol City Council, Siemens, the University of Bath and Knowle West Media Centre to deliver the project, which came to an end in March 2016.
It was designed to address the technical constraints that WPD has experienced as the electricity network operator in Bristol, where the uptake of solar panels has been high.
Ultimately, its findings will help the renewable energy industry to make better use of battery storage technology.
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Stephen Hilton, Director, Bristol Futures, Bristol City Council said:
“Projects such as SoLa Bristol demonstrate that Bristol is continuing to lead the way towards a decarbonised, resilient, and community-led energy system following its year as European Green Capital.
“Bristol City Council is committed to working with residents, such as those in social housing, who can benefit the most from innovative technologies and services. It has been invaluable to work with community organisations such as Knowle West Media Centre to make engagement with these innovations fun and meaningful for those involved.”