Nottingham City Council and Connected Energy have cooperated on the CleanMobilEnergy pilot, a large-scale vehicle-to-grid (V2G) demonstrator project. The installation of solar panels, battery storage, and 40 bi-directional EV chargers at Nottingham City Council’s Eastcroft Depot seeks to cut carbon and energy expenses for the council.
The facility, just outside of town, holds a fleet of 250 electric vehicles, including six zero-emission bin lorries. With the installation of the CleanMobilEnergy pilot, the council’s cars now run on electricity.
The experiment, funded by the European Union and Innovate UK, features 40 vehicle-to-grid chargers, making it one of the country’s biggest deployments. The property has three solar arrays with a total capacity of 138kW and energy storage batteries. These Connected Energy batteries are created from used EV batteries and come in two 300kW systems, each with 24 used EV batteries and a total storage capacity of 600kWh.
The batteries installed on-site have two main functions: to store energy from both the PV panels and, at times, EVs, which will then be used to power the site directly; and to support the grid and provide power to the charge points to support load balancing. The system also enables the site to maximise the use of renewable energy to decarbonise the charging of the EV fleet.
According to Connected Energy, Nottingham City Council wanted a system that had the flexibility to be controlled and used for the best service at any given time, given the ongoing evolution in the Grid Services market. The council has a reputation for innovative low-carbon projects and recently completed a wireless electric taxi charging trial, becoming the first city in the UK to use the Energiesprong whole-house retrofit approach.
“The installation of the batteries concludes the infrastructure side of a remarkable project that enables energy from solar panels to be stored and sold back into the grid at the most lucrative times of day. As a demonstrator microgrid, it means we are less reliant on energy from the national grid to power our electric vehicles, helping us save money, save carbon and work towards carbon neutrality. I am extremely proud of the team working on this and thankful to our funders Interreg NW Europe and Innovate UK,” explained, Wayne Bexton, Director of Environment and Sustainability at Nottingham City Council.