Premier Inn turns to flywheel energy storage to assist electric vehicle charging
Whitbread-owned Premier Inn has installed a kinetic energy storage system for electric vehicle (EV) charging at its Leipzig hotel in Germany to help overcome poor grid balance.
Premier Inn has partnered with Chakratec to deliver the first indoor installation of its kind. The energy storage system stores electricity as a form of kinetic energy in a fast-rotating flywheel. The flywheel ensures that storage system degradation is minimised and chemical-free, but also overcomes insufficient power in the grid, which cannot adequately provide power for EV charging.
The technology is suitable for indoor and underground locations, which makes it attractive to both retrofits and inner-city new builds. It can also prevent high demand charges when sourcing from the grid and can act as a back-up power system for the hospitality firm in the event of a power outage.
Germany notably requires all new and renovated commercial buildings to have at least 20% of parking spaces fitted with EV charging infrastructure.
Premier Inn’s head of asset and facility management Heino Schönwandt said: “By implementing Chakratec’s Kinetic Power Booster technology, we are able to offer our customers EV charging services without needing to upgrade our existing infrastructure.
“The fact that the technology is sustainable both environmentally and economically makes it a perfect fit for our efforts to make our operations cleaner and more environmentally friendly.”
Premier Inn selected Leipzig as the first location to adopt the technology, with plans for expansion to its new sites throughout Germany over the next five years. The partnership was initiated by GHH Business Consult and EES Tübingen.
Force For Good
Whitbread’s broader ‘Force For Good’ sustainability strategy was updated to include new environmental targets in 2020.
The business is aiming to halve its carbon emissions intensity by 2025, against a 2018/19 baseline, and to deliver an 84% reduction by 2050. It claims that these moves will align the firm with the UK’s 2050 net-zero target.
Last month, Premier Inn confirmed plans to install EV chargers at some 300 of its locations, in what it's calling the biggest roll-out of its kind in the UK hospitality sector.
The company has partnered with energy major ENGIE UK & Ireland and its charging point provider GeniePoint to install and power the chargers. It is targeting 600 charging points within the next three years, with the option to add up to 400 more in the longer-term.