The United Kingdom’s first fully integrated energy systems research, development, and demonstration site – InTEGReL (Integrated Transport Electricity Gas Research Laboratory) – has recently been launched by Northern Gas Networks (NGN), Northern Powergrid, and Newcastle University, in partnership with the EPSRC National Centre for Energy Systems Integration (CESI). The site will serve as an incubator and test-bed for whole energy systems technology – examining the decarbonization of heat, energy storage, and transport with the aim of moving customers onto low carbon, low cost energy platforms.
Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said: “I welcome today’s launch of InTEGReL, the UK’s first integrated energy systems R&D facility. As part of our Industrial Strategy this Government is working closely with partners in the energy sector to position the UK at the forefront of global efforts to develop carbon-free energy solutions. The InTEGReL project demonstrates how the private sector – working with the UK’s world class Higher Education sector – can take a leading role in helping Britain reach our 2050 emission reduction target.”
InTEGRel builds on NGN’s H21 City Gate project – a study of the feasibility of converting the existing natural gas network in Leeds, Yorkshire to 100 percent zero carbon hydrogen. It will focus on smart grid technology, research into battery storage and hydrogen expertise.
The CEO of Northern Gas Networks, Mark Horsley, said: “We are delighted to open InTEGReL which we see as another step forward in our work towards a zero-carbon energy future. The site will bring together the best and brightest in this field and encourage the big thinking that is required if we are to secure, affordable, low carbon energy future. At Northern Gas Networks we have been working on our energy future project for a number of years, and this is a big breakthrough. Fully integrated energy systems that combine electricity, gas, and renewables to power heating, lighting and transport, can help to reduce the use of primary energy, cut costs and increase the reliability of our energy networks. It really is an issue of national importance and one which we take very seriously.”