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Growth powered by renewables: How Nottingham Trent Basin is generating electricity

A £100 million housing development in Nottingham’s Trent Basin is leading the way in clean energy living. Funded by Innovate UK, the project is an example of how the UK can switch to low carbon living and renewable energy sources.

The residents work together as a community to share electricity and generate their own energy. The pioneering research is led by the University of Nottingham and supported by several partners who are working towards shifting the country’s mindset on energy.

What is it like living on the development? This is how Nottingham Trent Basin is generating electricity, in the words of its residents.

The Project

The project was started by Sustainable Community Energy Networks (SCENe) to find a new way of generating and supplying energy on a local scale. By creating a transparent energy supply chain, the project is making both consumers and suppliers more empowered.

SCENe has taken existing technologies and made them more affordable for the public and more appealing for businesses to invest in. The project can be easily imitated by other businesses, which will help more developments across the UK switch to clean energy.

The aim of the scheme is to cover any gaps in existing energy policy and to change the way properties are developed. The research, conducted by the University of Nottingham, is demonstrating how more sustainable developments can be built.

Smart Homes

How does it work? The development consists of 120 smart homes that generate their own energy using renewable energy sources. The houses were designed by Blueprint, a property development company that creates sustainable homes. Each home is fitted with photovoltaic solar panels and underground heat pumps and stores.

Once the energy is generated, it is stored in a large battery which then redistributes electricity to each home. The community also has a car sharing scheme and facilities for electric vehicles. This brings the community closer together whilst combating energy waste.

Technology from the Internet of Things records the residents’ energy behaviour patterns. This data is used to engage the residents in their energy choices and inform them about their consumption habits.

The homes are situated on the banks of the River Trent, surrounded by fresh air and green spaces, making the Trent Basin a great place to live. By 2019, the development will consist of 500 homes.

The community battery

The project is made possible by the community battery. It is the largest of its kind in Europe and can hold enough energy to power 167 kettles simultaneously for four hours.

Designed by Tesla, the battery not only stores and distributes energy, but it is also connected to the National Grid. It can buy electricity from the Grid when costs are low and sell that on to the residents for reduced prices.

Any excess energy can be sold back to the Grid and the profits are then shared amongst the community to further offset bills.

A move to clean energy

This ground breaking project is part of the UK’s shift towards clean energy living, aiding the energy revolution. The housing development provides a working example of how to lower carbon emissions and reduce our dependency on fossil fuels.

This project can be commercialised and repeated across the UK which will allow energy to be used in a more efficient way. This will create better UK power networks and relieve pressure on the National Grid.

Innovate UK

The Trent Basin project is funded by Innovate UK as part of the government’s Clean Growth Strategy. This is working towards tackling climate change and bettering the UK economically, socially and environmentally.

To find out more about Innovate UK and the Clean Growth Strategy, subscribe to Innovate UK’s YouTube channel.