Innovation is crucial to transforming the UK energy system to meet carbon reduction targets and achieve our clean growth ambitions, and cutting edge energy efficiency solutions that integrate low carbon-generation, storage and energy demand management will have a significant role to play.
Modern Energy Partners (MEP) is a ground-breaking collaboration between the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Cabinet Office and Energy Systems Catapult (ESC), working with SALIX Finance Ltd, Crown Commercial Service and the public sector estate.
The Challenge and Opportunity
MEP’s vision is to accelerate the deployment of integrated energy solutions across the UK non-domestic built environment sector, situated at the heart of the UK’s decarbonisation challenge. Energy efficiency savings of at least £4 billion have been identified in this sector, as well as opportunities to decarbonise heat and create new revenue streams.
MEP will achieve its vision by leveraging the unique scale of the public sector to set precedent, demonstrate best practice and build confidence, delivering cost and carbon emission savings and value for the UK through economic growth.
Following 12 months of feasibility work in Phase 1, a second phase of MEP was agreed by the BEIS in April 2019. The programme will now focus on five key areas:
- Creating capability in the public sector through an energy manager targeted methodology, toolkit and small professional support team
- The methodology, toolkit and professional services support team are being developed as they are deployed to deliver clean energy plans across additional public sector sites. MEP will enable the public sector to be an intelligent customer that is able to scope integrated energy solutions at its sites
- Piloting integrated energy solutions at public sector sites
- MEP will pilot implementations of energy plans on selected public sector sites, primarily within NHS, MoD and MoJ, to both demonstrate solutions and set precedent for scale-up and roll-out across the public sector estate from 2021
- Working with other critical stakeholders to enable delivery
In addition to developing technical capability, MEP is working in parallel with:
- Property leaders and financial and commercial managers responsible for Government and Departmental approvals and procurement decisions
- Relevant public and private sector finance providers, and the UK’s energy services supply chain
to deliver scalable, modular, low-cost and financeable energy solutions.
- Building a pipeline of sites for rapid roll-out
- MEP is engaged with Government departments to identify a pipeline of up to 200 public sector sites that can be prioritised and ready for roll-out by April 2021.
- Deploying sophisticated energy monitoring at sites
- MEP is selecting up to 40 sites on which to deploy energy telemetry to gather energy data that is suitable to accelerate energy plan design and contribute both to future operations and maintenance at sites.
Phase 1 of the MEP project ran between June 2018 and March 2019, with competitively selected partners from the UK energy supply chain, DNOs and energy managers at four campus-scale public sector sites: Catterick Garrison, HMS Collingwood, HMP Sheppey and Cardiff University. The study culminated in the development of strategic energy plans at each site as well as contributing to the development of an early version of a generic methodology. It identified an opportunity to introduce viable integrated low carbon energy solutions for each of the sites that fulfil immediate needs of the sites, whilst also future proofing in support of the rapidly changing energy landscape.
Prior to this, the Catapult and the Cabinet Office also completed a feasibility study in early 2018, funded by InnovateUK, investigating how the public sector estate could help stimulate the market for integrated energy efficiency solutions on campus scale sites (e.g. hospitals, prisons, MOD sites). Energy System Integration Guides (ESIG): Distributed Energy project worked with the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Trust and the Norwich Biosciences Institutes’ cluster of buildings and facilities to develop a prototype methodology for creating viable solutions that could be applied nationally to campus-scale energy installations.
MEP is continuing to develop the programme over the next two years to further mature the designs and methodology and scale up across a greater number of public sector sites.
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