A £200,000 fund has been granted for research into developing a a local, smart grid energy project in Cheshire.
The North West Energy Innovation District (EID), spearheaded by the Cheshire Energy Hub, brings together energy users, network owners, innovators and partners and will develop a proposal for a multi-vector – electricity, gas, heat and hydrogen – energy system that is capable of being scaled up to other regions of the UK.
It will be based on an innovative operating system which is expected to be the “first digital and virtual platform” for the smart management of the whole energy network.
EID Chair Ged Barlow said: “This is an important step forward for the Energy Innovation District and highlights the potential of the North West to lead the charge on decentralised energy systems. What makes the EID truly innovative is the clustering of energy intensive industries alongside energy sources, an established supply chain and a critical mass of energy ‘know how’ and R&D.
“With the private and public sector working together, this project will show how connecting energy users to local sources of energy generation can reduce costs, cut carbon emissions and increase energy security. The impacts could be huge with the aim to create a network where energy costs are cut by at least 20%.”
The EID also aims to advance energy technologies such as heat networks, low carbon transport, electricity networks, hydrogen and energy storage.
The grant has been provided by UK Research and Innovation under the government’s ‘Prospering from the energy revolution’ programme.