ReFLEX Orkney project gets the green light

The ReFLEX Orkney project has been given approval by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to progress from feasibility studies to a demonstration phase.

The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), leading the project alongside a consortium of locally based partners, announced that following a review meeting with UKRI in January, ReFLEX Orkney had now successfully passed through its first stage. Funded by UKRI, the project is aiming to integrate electricity, transport and heat networks in Orkney through use of advanced software to balance both supply and demand. It is looking to maximise the potential of its renewable production capabilities while cutting the county’s carbon footprint by decreasing reliance on imported carbon-intensive grid electricity from the UK mainland.

With the project now moving onto phase two, this will see the launch of an attractive local electricity tariff tailored to the needs of its innovative integrated energy system. Work is also underway on setting up a new local energy company, offering advice to local consumers and businesses on their energy needs, along with providing affordable leasing options for new domestic and commercial batteries, electric vehicles and charging points in Orkney with reduced upfront costs for end users.

Aquatera Managing Director, Gareth Davies, speaking on behalf of ReFLEX Orkney project partners, said: “ReFLEX Orkney is a world first and recognises the key role Orkney has played in UK energy over the last half a century from oil and gas through to wave and tidal energy. Once demonstrated and proven in Orkney, it is expected that the model can then be replicated in other areas across the UK and internationally – helping to create more flexible and renewable-friendly energy systems.”