Smart energy technologies to be piloted at Portsmouth International Port

Published: 2 June 2020

Portsmouth International Port will be piloting a smart energy system to significantly decarbonise their port energy operations as part of a new project, PESO (Port Energy Systems Optimisation).

The PESO project, co-funded by Innovate UK, will show how ports can use smart grid technology and sophisticated management software to reduce atmospheric emissions and improve air quality whilst optimising energy costs.

Energy management software will be developed by Swanbarton, specialists in energy storage and control technologies, Energy Systems Catapult will assess the future energy requirements around ports and the long term impact on the energy system.  Marine South East is leading the project and will plan how the technology can be commercialised and rolled out across UK ports as rapidly as possible.

The PESO pilot system to be deployed in Portsmouth International Port will integrate local electricity generation, novel energy storage and smart energy management to demonstrate how ports can meet emerging on-shore power demands and the requirements of ships as they increasingly use shore power and adopt electric propulsion whilst minimizing the need for expensive grid upgrading and optimising the use of variable tariffs.

Three main areas of innovation will be explored in the PESO pilot; the design and construction of novel dual-chemistry battery technology to meet the port requirements; advanced management software to optimise onsite energy generation and storage and the development of smart port grid infrastructure.

Jonathan Williams, CEO of Marine South East, said: “Cleaning up maritime emissions is now an urgent priority for the maritime sector and the PESO project will be a critical stepping-stone to achieve this.  Marine South East is delighted to be leading this project to build a prototype system for advanced energy management in Portsmouth International Port with specialists Swanbarton and the Energy Systems Catapult.  This will pave the way for decarbonisation and other emissions reduction across the port estate.”

Mike Sellers, Port Director at Portsmouth International Port said: “As a port that is owned by the people of Portsmouth, we are committed to take bold action to meet our goal to be the UK’s first zero emission port. This innovative project will enable the port to maximise the amount of renewable energy it can produce and use for its own operations including powering electric vehicles to replace diesel and reduce emissions. This initiative has the potential to have significant benefits for the port, and could also provide a solution to smart energy use that can be shared with the wider port industry.”

Anthony Price, MD of Swanbarton said: “Energy management combined with energy storage are powerful tools to unlock the benefits of smart energy networks. We are pleased to be working with Marine South East, Portsmouth International Port and the Energy Systems Catapult as we transfer our experience of integrating energy storage systems to facilitate the electrification of port operations.”

Philip New, Chief  Executive of Energy Systems Catapult, said: “Net zero carbon emission targets require both innovative solutions and existing technologies to be utilised across all sectors – including marine. Just like road transport, marine vessels are moving towards zero emission fuels, and smart local renewable energy generation along with storage solutions can help supply clean energy to both vessels and vehicles, as well as the port itself. We look forward to working with Portsmouth International Port, Marine South East and Swanbarton to develop innovative solutions that will help lead the UK marine sector towards Net Zero.”

Marine South East (MSE) is a sector consortium for marine industries established to stimulate investment and growth through innovation and has a track record in managing collaborative projects, commercialisation planning and dissemination. MSE engages with a large cluster of over 3000 marine businesses, stakeholders, research institutions and public sector bodies.

Portsmouth International Port is a major UK port carrying around 3.8MT of cargo per annum. The port is publicly owned with a strong social responsibility and an ambitious programme of investment to meet the challenge of decarbonisation and emissions reduction.

Swanbarton is a consultancy and services company, with expertise in battery and other energy storage technology. It is the founder of the International Flow Battery Forum.