Peterborough leads the way in smart energy system

Five organisations are coming together to draw up plans for the largest smart city-wide energy system in the UK.

SSE Enterprise is joining Element Energy, Cranfield University, Smarter Grid Solutions and Sweco UK in the £2m Peterborough Integrated Renewables Infrastructure project (PIRI) scheme. Led by Peterborough Council, it will cut energy bills and provide green heat, electricity and transport for residents.

Combining a next-generation heat network, electricity network and EV infrastructure under one holistic scheme, the two-year project has been granted funding to begin the design of a local, smart energy system.

Nathan Sanders, managing director of SSE Enterprise Distributed Energy, said: “PIRI is an exciting project for us to be investing in. We hope it will demonstrate the potential of smart cities to drive local decarbonisation in a commercially viable manner.

“It takes a ‘whole systems approach’ to energy one step further by integrating all socio-technical elements into one solution that can help councils hit their net zero targets.”

The PIRI project brings together energy generation, demand and storage, thereby unlocking efficiencies not deliverable under our existing, traditional energy systems. It is envisaged to be especially effective in areas where the electricity network is constrained; as well serving as a blueprint for other urban locations across the UK.

PIRI will be part funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Prospering from the Energy Revolution challenge and unlock major social and economic value for the Peterborough area from 2022. Significant private sector investment has been secured for and by members of the partnership who each have existing decarbonisation expertise.

The project is one of five to win funding to create a pipeline of innovative and investable local energy system designs that will be ready to roll out across the UK in the 2020s.

Peterborough is one of the fastest growing cities in the UK whilst also being committed to reducing its carbon emissions. Its PIRI project aims to deliver a significant drop in CO2emissions by 2030, whilst cutting energy bills by up to a quarter.

Minister for Business, Energy and Clean Growth, Kwasi Kwarteng,said: “Every corner of the UK has a part to play as we eliminate our contribution to climate change entirely by 2050. This innovative project in Peterborough will deliver energy savings and reduce carbon emissions – a win-win for communities and the environment.”

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