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ReFLEX Orkney launches innovative green energy services for Orkney

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ReFLEX Orkney has unveiled a number of new low-carbon transport and power services for Orkney residents and companies to further decarbonize the island’s energy system.

This would help pave the way for other regions in the United Kingdom to pursue a localized approach to integrated energy systems.

This is a significant achievement for the €28.5 million ReFLEX Orkney project, part of which is financed by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and is matched by private investment.

Orkney now produces more than 100 percent of its energy demand from renewables annually. The goal of the project is to help the community make full use of its renewable energy resources, placing Orkney at the forefront of demonstrating how to reduce carbon emissions, reduce climate change and protect well-being, livelihoods and the ecosystem; a top priority for governments and the wider society.

At the heart of the initiative is the demonstration of flexibility using technology such as batteries, electric cars, smart chargers and smart meters, which are made available through affordable leases and other financing to help consumers escape high upfront costs.

The project is also developing large-scale and community-focused projects such as electric buses, a local electric car club and the integration of renewable hydrogen for storage and transport.

A core aspect of the ReFLEX service portfolio is the ReFLEX support team that will help direct and support energy consumers to a decarbonized approach that better fits their needs. The goal is to be a one-stop shop for all energy service needs.

ReFLEX Orkney is actively designing new services to be launched in2021, including micro-generation battery storage and heating installation to help lower billing and minimize carbon emissions. ReFLEX seeks to further improve and extend the spectrum of community feedback-based offerings.

“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.”

Gareth Davies, managing director of ReFLEX Orkney.

“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.”

Rob Saunders, challenge director, prospering from the energy revolution, UK research and innovation.
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