Locogen are proud to be working with community groups and public sector bodies to deliver on the country’s net-zero goals. It’s important that the transition to net zero is an inclusive one and here are just two projects where we are helping such organisations maximise their investment in renewable and low carbon solutions, while providing clean, healthy environments for children.
Battery Storage for Edinburgh Community Solar Co-operative
Edinburgh Community Solar Co-operative (ECSC) was formed in December 2013 as a registered society under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act.
The society has 684 members and generates solar electricity from installations at 30 host buildings across Edinburgh.
The society’s aims are to support power generation from renewable energy and low carbon sources, reduce emissions, alleviate fuel poverty, improve energy security and foster development around Edinburgh.
ECSC have previously installed Solar PV systems on three schools in Edinburgh (Canal View, Oaklands and Buckstone). These are substantial installations, ranging from 100-120kW, and the electricity generated is provided to the schools to help offset costs and carbon emissions.
In order to maximise the use of onsite generation, further reduce carbon emissions and improve the ROI for ECSC, the society decided to retrofit battery storage systems to the sites. These batteries will store generated PV electricity to maximise onsite self-consumption, lower grid electricity costs and gain income by providing grid balancing services.
Locogen won the tender to deliver the project and we are currently in the process of installing the storage systems. We took on all permitting works required, including DNO application, all required building permitting and construction design and management (CDM) requirements during the installation phase. We also used our knowledge of this fledging area of the market to select and procure the most appropriate battery system to meet the client’s end goals at each site. Locogen will provide ongoing O&M support to the installations.
Energy storage will be crucial if we are to have a successful transition to a low carbon electricity system powered by renewables and the technology has the potential to transform the economics of solar PV installations.
Such battery systems maximise the use of on-site generated Solar PV electricity, reduce the requirement for import of grid electricity and lower associated CO2 emissions.
ECSC, for example, will see increased revenues from sales of solar PV generated electricity, while the end customer client (Edinburgh City Council) will see reduction in carbon emissions and, potentially, electricity supply cost reductions.
ECSC also view this as a demonstrator project to research and understand the business case for using batteries at this scale to provide grid services and generate additional income via an aggregator. This will provide valuable learning to inform investment in future projects of this type and scale.
Air Source Heat Pumps For Scottish Borders Council Nurseries
SBC Contracts Ltd are the construction wing of Scottish Borders Council and deliver the council’s building projects.
SBC Contracts were tasked with the construction of two new nursery units in the towns of Peebles and Innerleithen, with the ambition for the buildings to be as energy efficient and low carbon as possible. Installation of 2x15kW ASHPs on each site to provide heating via an underfloor system was identified as the ideal low carbon heating system to help achieve this.
Locogen worked with SBC Contracts and their consultants through the design phase to develop the final system design/specification and then within the construction phase we project managed the installation and commissioning of the ASHP system on both sites to the client’s required timescales. The project was complicated by COVID restrictions but we were able to work safely throughout lockdown following the relevant guidelines.
The project provides low carbon heating for the new nursery buildings and reduces emissions. Importantly, it ensures that there are no combustion products within the local area that could be breathed in by the nursery pupils – therefore providing a healthier environment for these children. The project also assists the council in meeting their immediate goal of constructing energy efficient nursery buildings, while providing long-term security on heat-related carbon emissions.
Commenting on the Edinburgh and Borders projects, Locogen’s senior engineer, David Ferguson, said: “It’s really great to see local authorities and co-operatives take a lead in delivering on our net-zero goals. These projects use the latest technologies to enhance the benefits of solar installations and provide healthy environments where children can learn and grow.”