Tesla enables Nottingham microgrid with community energy storage

Tesla will be establishing Europe’s largest community battery in UK's East Midlands city.
Published: Tue 04 Jul 2017

Tesla will provide a new housing development in the city of Nottingham consisting of 500 homes, with a 2MWh grid storage facility. The homes will be built over five phases within a 10-year period.  

The housing development, named the Trent Basin project, will be powered predominantly by solar power and Tesla’s Powerpack grid storage installation.

The houses will be fed by ground mount and rooftop solar panels generating a total of 375kW of electricity. As new homes are completed, some of the ground mount panels will be removed and moved to the roof.

Blueprint, a public/private partnership, which will be managing the project, intends to incorporate solar energy, battery storage, and ground source heat pumps to reduce the cost of utilities in the development by approximately 30%. The Blueprint partnership leads a consortium of businesses, government, and academia to implement the project.

Community microgrid

The Tesla Powerpack grid storage installation will enable the project to operate as its own microgrid and it will also help balance the larger local utility grid. It is claimed to be the largest community energy storage facility in the UK/European region.

Several buyers have already reserved spots or even purchased homes in the development, a result of the potential cost savings and innovation of solar, according to Tesla.

The Trent Basin project has qualified for £6m of grant funding from two energy programmes run by Innovate UK. The aim is to prove that lower utility costs and reduced carbon emissions are possible.

Community energy storage reflects innovation

“The way we generate and distribute energy in the UK is inefficient and carbon intensive. It doesn’t have to be like this. With new technologies, especially in renewable energy and storage it is possible to do better,” said Blueprint’s chief executive, Nick Ebbs in a statement.

Homeowners who want to be connected to the microgrid will have smart meters installed so that they can access real-time data on their electricity consumption via an app or on voice-controlled speakers.

According to Tesla, the company’s presence in the European home market comes as a direct goal of Elon Musk’s plan to provide economic and realistic sustainability options for consumers. Tesla has already committed to providing 2MWh powerpacks to homes in California in the US.

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