Orkney Islands Council backs development of £28.5m ‘smart energy island’

Orkney Islands Council (OIC) is to support the development of a multi-partner £28.5 million renewable energy project which could ultimately eliminate the need for fossil fuels.

Orkney Islands Council backs development of £28.5m ‘smart energy island'

Solar panels in Kirkwall
Image credit: Colin Keldie courtesy of Solo Energy

The ReFLEX Orkney (Responsive Flexibility) project aims to create a ‘smart energy island’ - developing a ground-breaking ‘virtual energy system’ in Orkney which will monitor generation, grid constraint and energy demand and then use smart control of energy technologies to manage and improve the supply-demand balance.

This will maximise use of locally generated green energy and pave the way towards a carbon neutral future.

Technologies which might be rolled-out as part of the project include domestic batteries for homes, larger batteries for businesses and public buildings, vehicle to grid chargers, electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel cells and smart heating systems.

The project is funded by the UK Government through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

Led by the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), the ReFLEX Orkney project will bring together a number of locally based partners - OIC, Aquatera, Solo Energy and Community Energy Scotland - as well as Heriot Watt University and Doosan Babcock.

If successful, the ambitious three-year project could be replicated across other areas in the UK and internationally.

Councillor James Stockan, leader of Orkney Islands Council, said: “Orkney Islands Council is delighted to be involved in this project and we are looking forward to working with our key partners to develop the proposals.

“The project offers great opportunities for Orkney in terms of economic development as well as delivering demonstration and development of a state-of-the-art energy system, which could save money and further cement Orkney’s position at the vanguard of innovative energy solutions.”

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