Project Eric Awarded for Pioneering Smart Community Energy System
A Moixa project pioneering smart local energy systems which cut bills and support renewables has won Residential Building Energy Project of the Year at the Energy Awards, 2016.
Project ERIC (Energy Resources for Integrated Communities) aims to tackle fuel poverty in Rose Hill, East Oxford, a social housing estate which is in the lower 10% of the UK’s most deprived communities.
Moixa has installed 2kWh smart batteries in 82 homes, a primary school and an 8kWh battery stack in a local community centre. The batteries are linked to 200kWp of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on the homes and a further 100kWp of solar on the school and community centre, creating a virtual smart local energy grid.
Moixa’s innovative software manages energy flows to ensure that the maximum amount of solar power generated in Rose Hill is used within the community. So, for example, when one home is using little of its solar power the electricity can be used by a neighbour rather than exported to the national grid.
The system controls when the solar battery storage systems are charging or discharging to manage community load. The software includes “learning algorithms” which respond to user behaviour and solar generation. By managing energy flows it is able to reduce stress on the grid and allow the network to support a higher level of renewables.
Simon Daniel, CEO of Moixa, said: “Project ERIC offers a glimpse into the UK’s smart energy future and we are delighted the judges have recognised its importance. Smart batteries and renewables, linked into a local energy grid, can save money and support a reliable, cost-effective and low-carbon energy system.”
Debbie Haynes, Energy Efficiency Projects Officer at Oxford City Council, said: “We are delighted to be part of project ERIC. Fuel poverty reduction is a key aim for Oxford City Council and ERIC is showing how battery storage and PV can change the way communities make and use power and reduce bills for residents.”
Local resident Terence Eden said: “I love the idea of installing something that could be revolutionary for British homes.”
Moixa is leading the £1.2 million, 27-month project, working with Oxford City Council and a range of other partners. Environmental charity Bioregional brings expertise in community engagement, Oxford Brookes University is evaluating results and assessing household experiences, ReEnergise is looking at how the local energy system can support commercial grid services, while British Gas and Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution bring energy industry experience and commercial direction. The project is funded by Innovate UK, Moixa, British Gas and Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution.