As well as the E-STOR system, the project, due for completion in 2021, will include a 160kWp solar array, an 85kW natural gas-powered Combined Heat and Power (CHP) unit, and a 300kWth ground source heat system (GSHP). There is potential for more solar panels to be installed at the hub over the coming years.
The project has been led by West Suffolk Council working with other partners in education, leisure, health, community and public services.
Image courtesy of West Suffolk Council
Capitalising on Connected Energy’s control software, the E-STOR will be used to optimise how the various zero and low carbon energy sources are utilised to minimise costs and the carbon intensity of the energy mix. The energy storage system will be used to capitalise on the locally generated electricity, and minimise the electricity drawn from the grid, in particular during peak tariff periods.
“We already have systems optimising the relationship between EV charging loads and PV generation,” said Connected Energy Project Manager, Nigel Dent. “This system is particularly exciting because of the wider mix of technologies including CHP and ground source heat. By optimising the fit between generation and load we should be able to further decarbonise the ground source heat for example.”
The 300kW/360kWh containerised E-STOR system to be used at Mildenhall Hub, comprised of 24 second life Renault Kangoo batteries, will initially provide Triad avoidance and frequency response services but the renewable optimisation will be the primary function when the full PV array is installed.
The Mildenhall Hub E-STOR will be the second installation of the new generation systems for Connected Energy, quickly following on from the announcement of its first system, at The Hold for Suffolk County Council, in July 2020. The new generation systems include a range of enhancements building on learning from systems Connected Energy has installed over the last five years.
By working with Renault and Hitatchi ABB Power Grids, Connected Energy have increased efficiencies on both the power and capacity sides of the E-STOR system, as well as significantly reducing the cost of cooling the system, whilst increasing the effectiveness and control.
The multi-million-pound Mildenhall Hub project will include a new school, leisure facilities, a health centre, an advice centre, library, community services and office space for public sector partners. The site’s GSHP will naturally warm its swimming pools. Collectively the greenhouse gas emissions savings across the site are estimated to amount to 200 tonnes in 2021 and 2,300 tonnes over the 20-year lifetime for the plant – the equivalent of taking 820 cars off the road*.
Cllr John Griffiths, Leader of West Suffolk Council said: “We are delighted to be working with Connected Energy, taking something that is already better for the environment in the form of an electric vehicle, and giving its battery a second life by repurposing it in this giant storage battery. Addressing greenhouse gas emissions, climate change and our impact on the environment continues to be a key part of our work at West Suffolk Council. The Hub itself will of course be more energy efficient than the buildings that it will replace. By incorporating and investing in these environmental technologies we are further reducing the environmental impact of the Hub. It will also save the Hub partners money on their running costs which makes services more resilient to some of the challenges that we may all face over the years ahead.”
*figures provided by West Suffolk Council
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About Connected Energy
Connected Energy is an engineering led innovator in energy storage. Its technologies, that utilise second-life electric vehicle batteries, are rapidly changing the way intensive energy users can access the benefits of low-cost, on-site solutions. Its E-STOR system is modular and scalable, as well as straight forward to install and operate for energy intensive clients to flexibly control and reduce their energy costs, and develop new revenue streams.