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Peterborough outlines £2 million smart energy initiative

Plans have been unveiled for what is claimed to be the largest city-wide smart energy system in the UK.


A new £2 million scheme led by Peterborough Council aims to cut energy bills and provide green heat, electricity and transport for residents.


The Peterborough Integrated Renewables Infrastructure project (PIRI) combines an advanced heat network, electricity network and electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure.


The two-year project has been granted funding to begin the design of a local smart energy system. The partnership includes SSE Enterprise, Element Energy, Cranfield University, Smarter Grid Solutions and Sweco UK. It will be paid for through Research and Innovation (UKRI) funding and private sector investment.


The council says the project will unlock efficiencies which are not possible under existing, traditional energy systems.


The council says that because the PIRI project brings together energy generation, demand and storage, it will unlock efficiencies which are not possible under existing, traditional energy systems. It is expected to be especially effective in areas where the electricity network is constrained.


The project is one of five to win funding to create local smart energy ‘blueprint’ projects in the UK.


“Landmark step”


Councillor Marco Cereste, cabinet member for the environment at Peterborough City Council, said: “This exciting announcement will give Peterborough the opportunity to use its own green, locally produced electricity and heat to benefit residents. It’s a landmark step in our aim to be carbon-neutral by 2030 and will be the most exciting and innovative clean, green energy project the city and indeed the country has ever seen.”


Nathan Sanders, managing director of SSE Enterprise Distributed Energy, said: “PIRI is an exciting project for us to be investing in. We hope it will demonstrate the potential of smart cities to drive local decarbonisation in a commercially viable manner.


“It takes a ‘whole systems approach’ to energy one step further."


“It takes a ‘whole systems approach’ to energy one step further by integrating all socio-technical elements into one solution that can help councils hit their net zero targets.”


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