An innovative approach to energy flexibility

Jessica Wiseman
Thursday 19 January 2023

The University’s Eden Campus demonstrates a proactive approach to energy flexibility.

A linen of solar panels outdoors with trees in the distance

The Biomass Energy Centre, which started producing fuel in 2017, burns 12,000 tonnes of sustainably sourced woodchip per year from accredited biomass fuel suppliers. From this, the biomass plant produces 20,000MWh of heat energy per year – this energy is pumped to St Andrews in the form of hot water, providing heating and hot water for 44 University buildings, with a plan to expand. 

Meanwhile, a one-megawatt ground solar photovoltaic development at the edge of the site provides electricity for Walter Bower House, the main building on campus, and to electric vehicle charging points, and has reduced the University’s carbon footprint by 5%.

In what has been hailed a smart energy first for a non-industry consumer, the University has been able to harness energy generated by offshore wind farms and store it in on-site batteries. The energy is then discharged to offset the University early morning peak demand without taxing the National Grid, and the batteries are free to capture and store energy from the solar development.

This process, known as demand flexibility, is part of the National Grid Local Constraint Management Program, an energy flexibility service which allows consumers to minimize their impact on the grid and maintain renewable energy flows through energy storage.  



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