A Premier Inn on the edge of Edinburgh is claiming to be the first hotel in the UK to run with battery back-up. If all goes according to plan, the move should save the property £20,000 in energy costs, every year.
The lithium iron battery, which weighs five tonnes and occupies three square metres, will act as a daily energy buffer, loading up from the grid when demand and prices are low. It will discharge to power the property during times of high demand, when the local grid would normally charge a higher tariff.
Scotland, as a leader in wind power, is now looking to innovate in order to balance demand with supply – which in the case of wind, can be somewhat variable. The 100kW battery can power the hotel for up to three hours each day. And, if its capacity is not needed in the building, it can be used for broader grid balancing.
“It’s incredibly exciting to launch the UK’s first battery-powered hotel – an innovation which will save money, ensure security of supply and support the transition to a more flexible grid”, said Cian Hatton, Whitbread’s head of energy and environment.
The battery is being provided by E.on. Richard Oakley, customer accounts director, commented: “By adding the flexibility of battery storage we can help Whitbread to upgrade to the full-board option of drawing electricity from the grid when prices are low, storing that energy for use at peak times and having the ability to sell it back to the grid to help balance supply and demand on the network. Premier Inn is showing how hotel chains and large power users can further save money, reduce their carbon footprint and support the development of a lower-carbon, smarter energy grid in the UK.”