Energy trial signs first business

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Centrica’s Local Energy Market (LEM) trial in Cornwall has signed up its first official participant.

The Olde House holiday cottage site near Wadebridge, will use energy storage machines supplied by redT energy, to better manage the energy it uses from its own solar generation and the grid.

The £19 million trial will test the role of flexible power generation and storage in up to 150 homes and businesses across the county with the aim of reducing pressure on the local grid while rewarding participants for being more flexible with their energy.

Centrica’s programme director, Matt Hastings, said: “We’re thrilled to be working with The Olde House and redT energy as the first participants in the trial.

“The Olde House team have already achieved so much in terms of developing their solar generation so it’s great to be helping them to take that next step to even greater independence through the installation of these new machines.”

The 1MWh energy storage machines will be connected to The Olde House’s 250 kilowatt solar array, which was installed in 2011 to provide power to the site. The solar panels also power an onsite electric vehicle charging station.

Shaun Hawkey from The Olde House said: “We generate large amounts of electricity throughout the day but unfortunately cannot utilise it all.  With the installation of these energy storage machines, we will be able to store the energy until times when we have a higher demand.”

The Local Energy Market team has been working to recruit homes and businesses to take part in the project since its launch in December last year and has already carried out energy audits at 56 business sites.

Applications from businesses looking to access a £6 million funding pot to go towards low carbon technologies such as combined heat and power units, solar photovoltaics, wind, smart technology upgrades and new energy storage units are still invited.