A Nottingham residential development is generating its own electricity through renewable energy sources. Led by the University of Nottingham, this clean energy project is an example of how the UK can switch to low carbon living.
The housing development generates its own energy which is then stored in a community battery and redistributed to the residents.
The pioneering project is funded by Innovate UK as part of the UK Government’s move to clean growth.
This is how Nottingham Trent Basin is generating electricity, in the words of its residents.
How the Project Works
The project was designed by Sustainable Community Energy Networks (SCENe). It aims to change the way we think about energy generation and consumption in the UK. By using existing technologies and making them more affordable, communities are able to live more sustainably.
The scheme aims to change existing policy on energy and the way housing developments are built. It works by creating a transparent energy supply chain. All parties are involved in the project, including the development’s residents and the energy companies.
The development not only generates clean energy but brings together the local community. The research, conducted by the University of Nottingham, will help revolutionise how we think about property development and sustainable living.
The Trent Basin housing development consists of 120 smart homes based on the banks of the River Trent. The homes were designed by Blueprint, a sustainable property developer that creates environmentally friendly homes.
The houses have solar panels and underground heat pumps and heat stores. Communal electric vehicle charging systems have been installed and a community car sharing scheme is available.
The energy produced from these renewable sources is then fed back to the large community battery and redistributed to each home. More houses are due to be launched in 2019 making it a 500 home development.
Innovative technology from the Internet of Things is used to predict patterns in energy consumption. This is used to better inform residents about their energy choices.
The Community Battery
The battery, which was designed by Tesla, is the largest of its kind in Europe. It holds enough energy to power 147 electric kettles for over four hours.
It is connected to the National Grid and is able to buy and store electricity from it. The battery can purchase electricity from the Grid when rates are low and then sell that back to the community for lower prices. Any surplus power is sold back to the Grid and the profits are shared to further reduce energy costs for the residents.
The development was created with the community in mind. It is surrounded by open green spaces and has great views over the River Trent. The homes have been built facing the dock and are easily accessible from the city centre and the train station.
Energy costs are low and heating costs will be reduced in the future. The homes were not only designed for the purpose of a research project but as genuinely nice places to live.
The Energy Sector
The scheme is helping to revolutionise the energy sector. With more developments like the Trent Basin, energy policies can be designed with community level consumption in mind rather than individual consumption habits.
The research is being led by Professor Mark Gillott, Professor of Sustainable Building Design at the University of Nottingham. His research is helping to make the project more commercially available.
The Trent Basin scheme is funded by Innovate UK, part of the government’s Research and Innovation branch. It funds projects that drive the economic and social growth of the UK. It is part of the government’s clean growth strategy, which is working towards tackling climate change.
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