Glasgow signs up primary school as its first flexible energy asset

As part of its bid to become a carbon-neutral city by 2030, Glasgow City Council is set to use one of its primary schools as a flexible energy asset on the demand side response (DSR) market.

Pictured: Glasgow City Council's chambers. The local authority recently committed to net-zero by 2030 as part of its bid to host COP26. 

Pictured: Glasgow City Council's chambers. The local authority recently committed to net-zero by 2030 as part of its bid to host COP26. 

Through a partnership with demand response firm Flexitricity, called the Quickturn partnership, the local authority will use Pirie Park Primary School’s cold storage, air conditioning and heat pumps to aggregate and store energy and dispatch energy to the grid on demand.  

Doing so, the Council claims, will help National Grid balance the demands of the UK’s energy system, which are fluctuating more as more renewable generation comes online – and as the electrification of sectors such as power and transport begins to impact peak times.

It will also enable Glasgow City Council to generate additional revenue. The local authority has promised to ring-fence these earnings to invest in further renewable energy and energy efficiency schemes, as it strives to meet net-zero by 2030.

Pirie Park Primary School’s energy assets will begin operating in this flexible manner next month. Results will be monitored, and, if favourable, Glasgow City Council has said it will roll out the model to up to nine other sites across the city-region, including leisure centres, depots and offices.

“Participating in the Quickturn project and the trial at Pirie Park Primary School marks another milestone for Glasgow City Council as we continue to lead the way in reducing energy consumption across the city,” Glasgow City Council’s principal officer for carbon management Andrew Mouat said.

“We’re committed to deploying innovative technologies to ensure that Glasgow continues to make progress and become a true pioneer among its peers when it comes to lowering our carbon emissions.”

Flexible futures

Other organisations currently participating in Flexitricity’s Quickturn project include Asda, Scottish Water Horizons, Norish, Jones Food Company and Northumberland City Council.

Asda’s participation in the project will see the supermarket use hundreds of its fridges as a virtual battery pack for the UK energy grid over the winter months, when demand is higher. This 13MW storage asset will provide enough energy to power up to 8,500 homes.

Jones Food Company, meanwhile, is using DSR participation to improve the energy efficiency of its vertical farm in Scunthorpe, while earning extra revenue from National Grid.

Edie readers keen to get ahead of the curve and adapt their organisation’s energy approaches in preparation for ever-more decentralised and decarbonised energy systems are encouraged to download the free Flexible Futures: Smart Business Blueprint report.

Sponsored by EDF energy, the Blueprint provides some key energy technology and policy updates, along with an array of real-life case studies, expert viewpoints, facts and stats, and top tips to provide readers with the insight and inspiration needed to drive forward their energy agendas. Download and read the Blueprint free here.

Sarah George  



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