ReFLEX Orkney launches innovative green energy services for Orkney
Orkney is once again leading the drive to net zero and supporting UK government plans for a green industrial revolution with the launch of new green local energy services.
A new ground-breaking local energy company, ReFLEX Orkney Ltd – of which SMS is proudly a partner – has launched a range of low-carbon transport and power services exclusive to Orkney residents and businesses to further decarbonise the island’s energy system. This will help pave the way for other regions in the UK to adopt a localised integrated energy systems approach.
This is a major milestone for the £28.5 million ReFLEX Orkney project which is part funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and match funded by private investment.
Orkney already generates over 100% of its electricity demand annually from renewables. The project aims to help the community takes full advantage of its renewable energy potential, putting Orkney at the forefront of demonstrating how to reduce carbon, abate climate change, and protect wellbeing, livelihoods and the ecosystem; a top priority for governments, as well as wider society.
At the heart of the project is the demonstration of flexibility using technologies like batteries, electric vehicles, smart chargers and smart meters, which are being made available via affordable lease and other financing helping customers to avoid large upfront costs.
ReFLEX has also introduced new 100% renewable electricity tariffs for Orkney residents which will help link energy technologies with ReFLEX’s integrated energy system (IES), FlexiGrid; an innovative platform provided by SMS.
In order to support rapid transition to net zero, ReFLEX is working with Shell Energy Retail and Drive Electric to support the roll out of technologies in Orkney.
The project is also creating larger-scale and community-focused initiatives such as electric buses, a local electric car club in partnership with Co-wheels, and the integration of green hydrogen for storage and transport.
SMS’s FlexiGrid software is the underpinning technology used on ReFLEX Orkney, which will link zero-carbon assets such as EV chargers and batteries with local renewable energy to create a smart energy system.
A key part of the ReFLEX service offering is the ReFLEX support team who will help guide and support energy customers to a decarbonised solution that best suits their needs. The aim is to be a one-stop-shop for all energy service needs. A free membership model has been launched to create a community focused on decarbonisation, sharing topical information about new technologies, approaches and top tips for increasing energy efficiency and affordability. ReFLEX aims to continue to develop and broaden the range of offerings taking on board feedback from the community.
Once demonstrated and proven in Orkney, it is expected that the IES model and associated integrated energy service supply framework will be replicated in other areas across the UK and internationally, helping to create more flexible and renewable-based energy systems across the globe.
Gareth Davies, Managing Director of ReFLEX Orkney Ltd said:
“The launch of ReFLEX Orkney Ltd and the range of products and services is a major milestone for the ReFLEX Orkney project. We are pioneering an integrated, affordable, low-carbon energy system in Orkney which can then be used as a blueprint for other locations.
“A key aim for ReFLEX is to encourage early adoption of these technologies, as well as inspiring community participation in the drive to decarbonise Orkney. By becoming a member of ReFLEX, the community can help us shape it and demonstrate how communities can create smart local energy systems. In return we will help the community access affordable low carbon technologies and services, and better understand and manage their energy use.
“This is very timely as the UK government has just announced an end of the sale of diesel and petrol cars by 2030 as part of an ambitious plan for green industrial revolution, and yet again Orkney is ahead of the curve, ready to demonstrate to the nation how it can be done.”
Rob Saunders, Challenge Director, Prospering from the Energy Revolution, UK Research and Innovation said:
“ReFLEX Orkney is a ground-breaking project in the Energy Revolution Challenge. The approach the ReFLEX team is taking combines abundant renewable energy resources with thorough engagement with local communities and organisations alongside the development of a joined-up, affordable, low-carbon energy system in Orkney.
“Clean energy delivered across smart and efficient local networks will play a major role in achieving the net zero goals of 2050. Today’s launch of a new range of low-carbon transport and power services to further decarbonise the Orkney energy system highlights the opportunities that are available to the UK through this kind of innovation.”
Further details about the project, membership and services can be found on ReFLEX Orkney’s newly launched website – www.reflexorkney.co.uk.