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NOBEL GRID brings Smart Energy Solutions to Lancaster Cohousing


NOBEL GRID project is starting to test pilots demand-response services in Lancaster Cohousing since the begging of 2017, which will bring smart energy solutions to their more than 40 householders and business tenants.

The 21st of February, NOBEL GRID consortium visited in situ all the new smart energy tools and services set up in its pilot site located in Lancaster Cohousing (UK). This visit was part of the 4th General Meeting of Nobel Grid Project, which took place on 20-22 February in Manchester and was hosted by CarboonCoop and by the University of Manchester (parents of the project).

“Smart Energy gives people more control over the way they use energy and -hopefully-reduces their bills”, stated Matt Fawcett, Technical Lead of Carbon Co-op.

Nobel Grid has one of its five pilot sites in Lancaster Cohousing, there “their householders and tenants will be able to see on their phones, tablets or mobile devices how much energy they are using at the moment but they will also be able to see how much energy is being produced on-site by the photovoltaic panels and by the hydro electric unit they have”, explained Matt Fawcett.

All in all, Fawcett added: “with the idea that we will try to shift as much energy as possible when there is a plenty renewable generation on site, so that they will maximise the use of locally generated energy and minimise the among that is imported for the grid”.

Lancaster Cohousing provides the best test-bed for this sort of project because they got lots of on-site renewable generation, as well as a mixed-use consumption.

“Here we have quite few sources of renewable energy. Our electricity is generated from two community energy schemes; a 90 kW array of solar PV panels and a 160 kW hydro electric scheme, Halton Lune Hydro, just upstream; and our heating and hot water come from a district heating system powered by a single biomass boiler, run on local woodchip”, explained Steve Wrigley resident in Lancasert Cohousing and low carbon energy consultant.

Carbon Co-op have teamed up with Lancaster Cohousing co-operative to test new hardware developed in this Horizon 2020 project, the SMX, which is designed to be fitted to already installed smart meters on site adding large amounts of smart network functionality and providing an AMR system for the use of tenants, householders, and the local co-operatives.


In the first instance, the SMXs will assist Lancaster Cohousing in billing the workspaces for the electricity they use. Until now that process has been done manually. Now, high quality real time usage and billing data can be sourced via the SMX devices.

In the later stages of the project, with the addition of the 60 domestic properties on the site, a manual demand response programme will be tested. In this case the householders, commercial tenants and co-operative landlords will form a “group” of users who will be informed when excess local power will be available from on-site generators or peak demand charges are in force, enabling them to maximise self-consumption and revenue.

A part of defining next steps in the UK pilot site, during the 3 days-meeting partners discussed future challenges regarding the services and tools that are been developing to all actors in the Smart Grid and retail electricity market.

Related post here.


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