Westlakes Science park Microgrid

At Westlakes BEC ‘s vision is to create a “smart” microgrid, with on-site renewable energy generation and storage, improved energy efficiency and new low carbon transport services. The aim is work towards net zero for the site – well in advance of the UK formal target of 2050.

Westlakes Science Park is owned and operated by BEC.   Established in  1980 , with almost  30,000 sqm of premium office accommodation, teaching accommodation and laboratories.   It is already home to more than 2,000 professionals, in a high-tech cluster. Westlakes Science Park offers premium business premises of all sizes in a country park setting.

Sonas proposed “Net Zero 3” for this development . This refers to developing pathways to deep decarbonisation in the power, heat and transport associated with the buildings on the campus. Although the carbon intensity of the UK power grid is falling and is projected to fall further up to 2035.  The decarbonisation of both heat and transport will place additional burdens on available power capacity of the site.    Westlakes provides multiple opportunities for on-site generation, adoption of decentralised energy systems and as a test site for innovation.

The Smart Microgrid concept

The aim is to move from a standard a local distribution network where any embedded assets are “behind the meter” to a “smart micro-grid” where the proposed new energy assets are shared between buildings on the site.  The goals that energy generated locally is used locally.

A key element is a phased upgrade of the energy and control systems in the existing buildings to allow demand side management, to deliver both high levels of energy efficiency and maximise the local use of the proposed new decentralised generation capacity.

The programme will also include phasing out gas boilers from those buildings still reliant on gas for space heating and replacement with appropriate forms of electrified heating.   

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