The MKSmart2020 bid demonstrates how a low carbon energy network might operate, gathering key data for future initiatives. Submitted to energy regulator Ofgem, the bid aims to secure a slice of its £500 million Low Carbon Networks Fund.
Cllr Mike Galloway, Milton Keynes Council Cabinet lead for climate change and the environment, said: “Milton Keynes has driven many successful green initiatives and we have ambitious plans to be an exemplar of low carbon living, both for others to learn from and for local people to benefit from.
“We are looking to decarbonise local transport, homes and businesses, and a low carbon electricity network is an essential part of achieving this.”
Central networks managing director John Crackett said: “We are at the very beginning of the transformation to a low carbon society, with electric car trials taking place and people beginning to install solar panels and heat pumps for their homes.
“What we need now is a large-scale demonstration of how we can integrate these technologies into the electricity network, so we can understand how electricity distribution needs to adapt to support these initiatives.”
If successful, Central Networks would examine how best to integrate low carbon technologies, such as electric vehicles and home energy generation, in the most efficient, cost-effective and reliable way possible.
By installing smart technology and working closely with both residents and businesses, it is hoped Central Networks could learn valuable lessons to help the roll-out of low carbon technologies across the UK.
Milton Keynes, home of the UK’s first solar powered house and the UK’s first kerbside recycling scheme, is developing a Low Carbon Living Prospectus which sets out a vision for future sustainability. Low carbon housing, smart grid technology, low emission vehicles and minimised waste initiatives will be delivered within a programme of social inclusion to engage and benefit all communities.
The Low Carbon Networks Fund has been set up to support large-scale trials of smart grid technology which will help the UK make the transition to a low carbon economy.
Ofgem is due to announce winning bids in December 2010.