Perth Smart Energy Network

Perth & Kinross Council, in collaboration with the Can Do Innovation challenge fund and Innovate UK, are running a design competition where we have challenged five teams of energy experts to design a prototype smart energy system which has the ability to generate renewable energy and trade/transfer that energy to a different council site for storage and use.

The main aim of the project is to develop a sustainable system that can be used to power buildings in the Council's estate and reduce ongoing energy costs and existing carbon footprint. 

Although this project`s scope and primary aims are to service the council's estate, there are a number of other potential exciting future possibilities such as giving the council a direct mechanism to help tackle fuel poverty, or the means to reduce the energy demand and costs of social housing, and passing these benefits onto vulnerable groups.

The five teams selected to come up with an innovative solution for improving the council's energy consumption for Phase 1 of the project are:

  • iPower Energy Ltd with Urban Chain Ltd, Kiwi Power Ltd & Pure Drive Energy Ltd
  • StorTera with Solo Energy
  • New Resource Partners with Smart Power Networks (SMPnet)
  • Scene Connect Ltd with Locogen & Swanbarton
  • Energievan with Energy eXchange Enablers & Bax & Co

During Phase 1 each team is designing a solution for a smart energy network to meet the Council's aims and objectives.  From these five designs, the two most viable will be eligible to move forward to the next phase of the project.  Phase 2 will allow the teams to develop and test their designs within the Council's estate. 

Working with the Council's Energy Team, four Council buildings have been earmarked for testing the prototypes within Perth - two pairs of renewable energy generation sites (Tulloch Primary School and Oakbank Primary School) and two battery storage sites (2 High Street and Perth City Hall).  Each team will pick a renewable energy site and a battery storage site to work with.

Councillor Angus Forbes, Convener of the Council's Environment and Infrastructure Committee, said: "This project has the potential to completely overhaul the way in which we power our Council estate not only saving the Council money on energy costs but also opening up a potential new income generation stream. 

"Everyone has to start taking steps in order to reduce their carbon footprint and we are no different; we have a lot of buildings within our estate, and it is important that we explore all options available to us.  This is an incredibly exciting project for us; what we are trying to do hasn't been done in this way before.  We are aware of the scale and ambition of this project but if we are successful we could develop an entirely new way for the public sector to move forward."