ACCESS- Assisting Communities to Connect to Electric Sustainable Sources

Project lead: Community Energy Scotland

Award amount: £29,999

Area: Argyll and Bute

Watch a video of the ACCESS project here!

Vision

The aim of the ACCESS project is to open up the renewable potential of Scotland, and simultaneously provide communities with a new tool for tackling fuel poverty. Using the simple principle of balancing local energy generation with local energy demand, ACCESS will help existing network infrastructure to continue to deliver ‘power from the glens’, while empowering communities to manage their own local energy needs.

 

Project summary

The project is a response to two key challenges for Scottish communities, namely the high cost and long time frames for connecting new generation in many areas of Scotland, and the high unit cost of heat for customers dependent on oil or conventional storage heaters, in both rural and urban areas.

The aim of the ACCESS project is to create a new, scalable and flexible platform for providing grid access to new renewable generation within transmission constrained areas of the network.

New controllable demand, in the form of innovative electric heating systems, will be used to balance in real time the equivalent output of new generation, thus ensuring that supply and demand are exactly matched and the network remains within safe limits.

This will be achieved using the existing local electricity networks, allowing the generator to capture full value from its capacity while avoiding the cost of major upgrades to the transmission network, or installing a new ‘private wire’ network.

Technical de-risking will be through a number of on-the-ground installations during phase 2, involving the installation of new heating systems in domestic properties and small businesses, and new control and communication systems with local generators.

The project will also develop the commercial and regulatory arrangements to deploy the solution more widely.