In 2018, Solisco approached the West Midlands Combined Authority and Keele University to discuss the future of charging infrastructure; one that would be reliable, scalable and future-proofed. These discussions then lead us to apply for an Innovate UK & Office for Low Emission Vehicles competition and we won!
This competition was aimed at solving the challenges towards electric vehicle charging in public spaces; and the funding allowed us to collaborate with local authorities, universities, key industrial players and new innovators. In 2019, we were given a three-month period to carry out site surveys, pre-planning applications, full design and planning, and execution strategies as well as cost analysis, in order to create a feasibility study on our project: the Smart Energy & Transportation Charging Hub (SETCH).
The Aim of SETCH
The SETCH project aims to change the way charging points have been deployed by creating an eco-system of mutually- supportive sources of microgeneration and EV-charging demand rather than the standalone charging posts implemented historically. We strongly believe that this combined infrastructure offering can make a real difference for the emerging EV revolution and tackle the “chicken and egg” problem by improving the economics of charging stations as well as creating a highly visual and psychological impact.
In addition, the SETCH proposition particlualy aims to work in collaboration with research institutions (such as universities) to raise awareness of renewable energy technologies with a particular focus on solar PV and electric vehicles. This could result in practical courses being taught, at undergraduate and postgraduate level, on research and modelling data from on-campus SETCH sites. And most importantly, it play an important role in introducing education in electro-mobility – often the biggest barrier to adoption.
The SETCH solar EV charging solution will incorporate several innovative technologies, systems and approaches:
➢ Solar PV canopies and battery storage technologies that deliver renewable energy for EV charging at all times of day.
➢ Grid innovation through smart charging and connections enabling grid balancing services & peer-to- peer trading.
➢ Creating new revenue streams such as car sharing club placement and advertising platforms.
➢ Offering reward mechanisms to encourage EV uptake and promote clean energy recharging through blockchain technologies.
To find out more about the SETCH project or to get a copy of the feasibility study, please CLICK HERE.
Collaboration is Key – Solisco named as ‘Breaking the Moulds 2019’ Winner
Meeting other motivated and like-minded individuals is not always easy, however in our industry, we see a lot of collaboration and support for one another. When working towards a common goal, such as making our world a better place, there seems to be a lot of energy invested by people. And this energy has certainly been evident from Keele University.
Hosted by award-winning TV Presenter Anita Rani, the Break the Mould Awards consisted of 200 business leaders, entrepreneurs and industry representatives and there were a total of 70 nominations spread across eight awards.
The award recognised great collaboration in all its forms and the winner was chosen for their work with Keele University and exceeding the expectations on business growth and the impact to the local economy.
“We are living through a time of rapid technological change and some of Keele’s academics, and the businesses we work with, are at the forefront of this innovation…Breaking the Mould is also about putting our values as an institution centre stage and working with those individuals and organisations who share them, for the benefit of the local region and beyond,” Professor Trevor McMillan, Vice-Chancellor, Keele University.
“As a company, we will continue to explore how charging electric vehicles with renewable energy can be universally adopted with sustainable and holistic infrastructure projects.” Solisco
Why Solisco is so passionate to be working with Keele University
Climate change is the single biggest global threat to ever face us, the effects of which are increasingly starting to be felt. Solisco have been working with Keele University on a number of vital projects, including the SETCH project and the ‘Energy development for small remote islands, Bangladesh’ project.
Keele University is a public research University and places a heavy focus on sustainability. The University placed 5th globally for performance in energy and climate change, 13th in the global sustainability league table and 1st in the UK for green setting and campus infrastructure.
Based on their privately owned and operated utility networks, Keele University is now developing Europe’s first ‘at scale’ multi-energy vector Smart Energy Network Demonstrator (SEND). This will take form of a living laboratory where new low-carbon technologies and interventions can be researched, developed and tested in a real-world environment.
Smart Energy Network Demonstrator
The SEND project is part-funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the England 2014 to 2020 European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) Growth Program and is available to ERDF eligible companies. The main partner on this project is Siemens.
“Working collaboratively with local partner companies, the (SEND) program will provide the opportunity to assess the efficiency of these new technologies in terms of energy production, cost and CO2 emissions.”
To find out more about the SEND project, click here to visit their website.