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Battery power: Manchester Science Partnerships pioneers a new energy storage system

Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP) has just installed a technology that’s set to increase sustainability and cut CO2 emissions across the whole of one of their campuses, Manchester Science Park – a giant re-chargeable battery.

Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP) has just installed a technology that’s set to increase sustainability and cut CO2 emissions across the whole of one of their campuses, Manchester Science Park – a giant re-chargeable battery.

The lithium-ion battery stores electricity, which can then be used wherever it is needed. It is hoped that, in time, the battery will be able to fully support the campus HQ building, the Bright Building, so that it becomes a self-sufficient ‘energy island’.

And it couldn’t come at a more critical time. The Carbon Trust has calculated that buildings in the UK need to reduce their C02 emissions by at least 80% by 2050 if they are going to play their fair share in achieving the UK’s carbon reduction targets. The installation of this battery is an important part of helping the UK to reduce its carbon footprint, in addition to making Manchester a smarter, more sustainable city as part of the overall CityVerve project.

Committing to a sustainable energy strategy

The battery is part of an advanced energy strategy developed by MSP and majority shareholder Bruntwood over the past few years. The aim is to reduce the science and technology park’s dependence on non-renewable energy sources – and, in the spirit of CityVerve, demonstrate how this can be done for other buildings in Manchester and beyond. The battery forms a central part of this strategy, because it can be connected to solar panels and used to store this type of completely renewable energy.

Part of the impetus behind the energy strategy came from the green funding package which MSP received from Lloyds Bank.

As part of this package, MSP committed to a number of green initiatives, including:

  • Investing more than £600,000 in sustainable improvements to its existing campuses;
  • reducing annual energy intensity of all its assets by 3.5 per cent a year;
  • increasing the amount of energy its buildings use from renewable sources by a further 10 per cent.

MSP is currently the only UK science and technology park operator developing this kind of advanced energy strategy – proving that pioneering innovation goes hand-in-hand with sustainability.

Powering new possibilities for the UK’s leading science and technology park

The installation of the battery opens up a vast number of potential opportunities for how that stored energy can be used. At the moment it is used it to power the Bright Building, storing energy during the day so that the building doesn’t have to take electricity from the National Grid at night.

In the future there are plans to set up charging points, so that MSP’s customers can use the battery to power their own devices – like electric cars, allowing more people to have the chance to reduce their carbon footprint thanks to the battery.

The battery itself is a Tesla PowerPack system – another reason why this partnership is such as exciting one is the chance to bring another company world-renowned for its innovation into this project.

The system can be extended when there is an increase in demand for energy at the campus, with the potential to add 16 more batteries to keep powering the Bright Building and surrounding buildings for years to come.

This adds an important layer of resilience and reassurance to MSP at a time when energy costs are rising exponentially. The building can run all day on energy storage system if it needs to; and if the primary power source crashes, the battery will kick- in after less than one second – so the scientist, innovators and entrepreneurs across Manchester Science Park can keep working uninterrupted.

The energy at the heart of CityVerve

The battery is of huge value to Manchester and the CityVerve project. How can you have a smart city if there is no energy to power connectivity? And, more importantly, a smart city is a sustainable city. Technology is enabling us to re-assess the way we use energy – starting with the way our buildings depend on the National Grid. This is why CityVerve has such ambitious goals when it comes to facilitating sustainability and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

In committing to a green energy storage strategy, MSP has brought sustainability and innovation together, and secured the future of Manchester Science Park in the face of increasing energy costs and market fluctuations.

It’s an exciting moment for Manchester. Where else could you find a science park run on battery power?

April 30, 2018 in Energy & Environment



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