Heat Smart Orkney
“Heat Smart Orkney Ltd" is a new organisation created specifically to administer and manage the Heat Smart Orkney project.
Heat Smart Orkney (HSO) Ltd was created specifically to administer and manage customer engagement for the HSO Project. Now that the grant period has ceased, we must thank the Rousay, Egilsay & Wyre Development Trust (REWDT) for allowing us to continue to use their assets and giving us a year to prove that the concept is viable in a business model.
The HSO Project was funded by the Scottish Government’s Local Energy Challenge Fund, initially for two years but extended to three, to set up a community-based trial to show how smart switching and local rebating could be used as a way of both mitigating the effects of curtailment on the Rousay, Egilsay & Wyre (RE&W) community turbine and address the issue of fuel poverty in our communities.
This works by ‘diverting unused renewable energy into affordable heating’ and is activated when our community turbine is set to be powered down. Storage heaters, flow boilers, hot water cylinders and immersion elements (acting as energy stores), were installed into participating homes as secondary heating devices and these are switched on when a signal is sent from the turbine, via a cloud-based platform to control equipment (switches) attached to each device. This causes the units to draw energy from the grid and thus, keep our turbine turning for longer. Once the turbine is notified that it can resume normal working or must stop another signal is sent and units are switched off.
The aim of the project was to show that we could assist our community to reduce their fuel costs by turning down their primary heating system, shortening the periods they run it for, reviewing the tariffs they pay, and by providing a rebate on the energy used by our devices. Since the installs were completed, we have had little curtailment, meaning that the amount of marginal curtailment (the part relevant to the project) has been small. This has been good news for the RE&W community turbine, but ironically, it has not been helpful for gathering data for the HSO project and letting our households see the benefit of their installed equipment.
For this to work in the longer term, HSO Ltd must be able to show that the smart controls and devices it has installed can combat the periods of marginal curtailment sufficiently to create the income for the rebate payments and generate additional revenue to continue to fund our community activities.
Therefore, for this coming financial year HSO Ltd with the support of the REWDT and its subsidiary REWIRED Ltd will continue to develop the economic model which we hope will assist us to attract other operating generators within Zone 1 of the Orkney grid.
Though not actively recruiting households a this time, if you are interested in joining this initiative and would like to express an interest if we progress beyond this year please contact the HSO Ltd team.
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