Speaker preview: Sarah Graham
A Community Approach to Energy Reduction
Island communities exemplify the importance of understanding the interdependencies of systems when exploring options for new energy solutions. Often dependent on fossil fuel imports and with limited connections to national-grid-systems, they present excellent opportunities to reduce high-energy costs, GHG emissions, and improve resiliency.
One example of such an island community is Eday, in Scotland’s Orkney Islands. While the island harnesses a significant amount of wind power, all the turbines currently service the mainland under a “last in first off” model and, with only a single cable connecting all of the islands to the mainland, the network is fragile and the risk of curtailment can be high. This is compounded by environmental pressures, such as corrosion and tides, and electrical pressures such as wear and tear on the overhead cables.
As part of the Innovate UK funded R&D project, CEDISON, IES worked with the community to create a Digital Twin of Eday. This aimed to identify ways to minimise waste excess wind generation on the island, improve the energy efficiency of Eday homes and outline steps to creating a Zero Energy Community. The project exemplifies the potential of using digital twins to drive decarbonisation, not only within island communities, but across the built environment.
The project identified that, through a combination of retrofit measures, the community could achieve 76% potential energy savings, improve the comfort within homes and reach NZEB status with a payback of less than 6 years. The project also investigated whether it may be possible to move towards a positive energy community – one which generates more energy in a year than it consumes – with the installation of a 2MWh community storage battery proposed to minimise Eday’s grid exports and maximise self-consumption of island resources.
Join IES’ Sarah Graham at Futurebuild for her session – “A Community Approach to Energy Reduction” on Wednesday 4th March 2020, 13.45-14.15 on the Digital Impact Stage (C79) where she will provide a more detailed overview of the project, providing further insight into community-wide energy solutions.