Carbis Bay signs up to Centrica trial

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Centrica has signed the latest participant for its Cornwall Local Energy Market, a £19 million trial that is testing the role of flexible energy storage, demand and generation.

The company is installing two combined heat and power (CHP) units at the Carbis Bay Hotel in St Ives. The CHP units will help the site to keep its carbon footprint and energy costs down, as well as generate electricity, helping to relieve the pressure on the local grid.

Rated at 35kW each, the units have been designed by Centrica Business Solutions to produce electricity and use the heat that is normally wasted in conventional power generation, achieving an efficiency of nearly 90% to unlock a reduction in carbon emissions of around 70 tonnes a year.

Once installed, the CHPs will be connected to a virtual marketplace that is being built to provide homes and businesses with a platform on which to buy and sell energy. This platform will provide flexibility to participants and the local energy grid, allowing businesses to create an additional income by reducing or even increasing energy use depending on local demand.

Matt Hastings, programme director for the Cornwall LEM, said: “We’re really excited to have such a prestigious hotel on board. Carbis Bay Hotel has different types of accommodation and leisure facilities, making it perfect for the trial.

“We have big ambitions for the Local Energy Market in Cornwall – not only will there be the opportunity for businesses to become more energy efficient and make money, it will relieve pressure on the grid and help Cornish renewable energy companies to identify new business models.”

As part of the trial, Centrica is providing grants of up to £1k to small businesses to pay for energy monitoring equipment and support. For more details, email the Centrica Local Energy Market on cornwall@centrica.com