Keele University to launch Europe’s first smart energy living laboratory
The UK’s Keele University is to become the first site for Europe’s first at-scale, smart energy, living laboratory.
The university have appointed Siemens to develop the Smart Energy Network Demonstrator (SEND) project.
The project will receive up to £9mn (US$12.39mn) from the England European Regional Development Fund and £4.5mn ($6.2mn) from a range of governmental departments, such as the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
SEND aims to test energy infrastructures and technologies, including smart energy, gas, and heating.
The campus will become Europe’s first multi-energy vector living laboratory, working to research, test, and scale-up low-carbon systems.
The completed development will result in more than 24 substations becoming digitalised, 1,500 smart meters being installed, and 5MW of renewable energy capacity being added across the campus.
“The Smart Energy Network Demonstrator (SEND) is a fantastic example of innovation delivering really tangible results for Keele University, businesses and the wider UK economy, as well as major societal benefits,” stated mark Ormerod, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Keel University.
“It puts Keele and our campus at the forefront of the new, more sustainable, energy landscape – the technology being deployed represents a revolution in smart energy technology for UK universities.”
“There is real momentum building in the area for developing intelligent, sustainable and low carbon energy networks as a catalyst for economic growth within the city and beyond.”
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.