Nottingham Goes Electric

Nottingham, UK’s City Council has approved a pilot project to power an electric vehicle fleet with solar energy. The pilot aims to maximize the use of renewable energy that is generated locally by using batteries and Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) vehicles for short-term storage of the electricity generated by the solar panels.

“Our aim with this project is to make the most of renewable energy that we’re generating in Nottingham, reducing carbon emissions and costs associated with our fleet,” said Councillor Sally Longford, the City Council’s Head of Energy, Environment and Waste Services. “We are leading the way when it comes to the green agenda, and innovative projects like these are key to helping us to achieve our target of being the first carbon neutral city in the UK by 2028.”

The project will see the installation of large energy storage units made from recycled car batteries. The units will be capable of storing 1,200kWh of electricity. The units will also include 40 bi-directional V2G chargers, 40 compatible electric vehicles, and six electric bin trucks. The solar panels have been installed at the City Council’s fleet depot, which serves as a commercial hub for i’s waste, energy, highways and infrastructure operations. The bi-directional charging units can send power back to the buildings on the depot or to the grid during peak times, in order to balance the demand of electricity and reduce energy costs.

“By using an intelligently managed Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) and V2G, on-site solar energy can be maximized and the depot will effectively be able to isolate itself from the grid,” said Steve Cornes, Nottingham City Council’s Principal Energy Projects Officer. “The systems will allow us to ensure production costs of electricity will be negligible, allowing us to peak shave so that we can avoid high electricity tariffs and give us the opportunity to trade electricity back to the grid. As the City Council fleet transitions to electric, including large vehicles such as refuse (trucks), we will be using the battery energy storage system to prop up the grid.”