Switch2Energy and Cornwall Insight join Rewire-NW
Rewire-NW, which is led by community energy and sustainability charity Pure Leapfrog, has won a share of £21m of funding from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) for 10 ground-breaking smart UK energy projects.
21st February 2020 by Networks
The project aims to design a “smart local energy system” for Warrington, which also has the potential in future to be rolled out beyond Cheshire to other parts of the UK.
Heat network specialist Switch2 Energy has been selected as one of 12 project partners, with the participants drawn from across the energy industry, local government and academia.
Being part of the ambitious Rewire-NW project will allow us to test these new models with a range of other innovative businesses to drive decarbonisation at a reduced cost
Dan Stearman, lead consultant, Cornwall Insight
Cornwall Insight, the energy consultancy, research and analytics company, has also announced that it is a partner. It will deliver the market insight and segmentation, commercial and regulatory elements of Rewire-NW.
The consortium has secured £2.8m for a two-year project jointly funded by UKRI and the project partners.
The combined team will assess ways of optimising the current energy infrastructure in Warrington, and bring forward proposals to adapt it to be able to deliver average cost savings of 25% and create a pathway to net-zero.
Switch2 Energy, which supplies 80,000 residents and 180 clients across 500 heat networks, will be part of the team that explores feasibility and design of a local heat network.
Project Rewire gives us a unique opportunity to secure a seat at the table for community energy, when designing the next generation of low carbon energy systems
Claire Hanratty, chief executive, Pure Leapfrog
This will be a key component of Rewire-NW, which will address the whole energy system across the entire Warrington borough, including energy heat and transport.
By using 5G and data-centric intelligence, the project will drive the local energy systems towards lower costs and lower carbon outcomes.
Claire Hanratty, chief executive at Pure Leapfrog, said: “Project Rewire gives us a unique opportunity to secure a seat at the table for community energy, when designing the next generation of low carbon energy systems.
“This will ensure that future energy systems will have to consider their social impact as well as environmental and that the energy transition is a ‘just transition’.”
Dan Starman, lead consultant at Cornwall Insight, said: “Net zero requires a step-change in new technology adoption and the development of new business models. The solution to delivering zero greenhouse gas emissions is likely to be highly driven by local resources and spatial distribution of assets and consumers. It may require alterations to the current regulatory environment in addition to those currently being progressed by Ofgem and BEIS.”
“Being part of the ambitious Rewire-NW project will allow us to test these new models with a range of other innovative businesses to drive decarbonisation at a reduced cost. It will also highlight regulation that impedes their development and allow us to propose amendments to deliver a lower-carbon future.”
Richard Slee, chief executive of Switch2 Energy, said: “We are excited to be involved in creating tomorrow’s smart local energy system. This is an exciting opportunity to design a future-proofed heat network that can deliver affordable, reliable, low carbon heating and hot water to businesses and residents across Warrington.”
Switch2Energy’s end-to-end service includes equipment design, manufacture and supply, metering, billing and pay-as-you-go, through to maintenance, energy centre management and customer services.
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