Orkney is once again leading the drive to net zero and supporting UK government plans for a green industrial revolution with the launch of new green local energy services.
A new ground-breaking local energy company, ReFLEX Orkney Ltd, has today [1 December] launched a range of low-carbon transport and power services exclusive to Orkney residents and businesses to further decarbonise the island’s energy system. This will help pave the way for other regions in the UK to adopt a localised integrated energy systems approach.
This is a major milestone for the £28.5 million ReFLEX Orkney project which is part funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and match funded by private investment.
Orkney already generates over 100% of its electricity demand annually from renewables. The project aims to help the community takes full advantage of its renewable energy potential, putting Orkney at the forefront of demonstrating how to reduce carbon, abate climate change, and protect wellbeing, livelihoods and the ecosystem; a top priority for governments, as well as wider society.
At the heart of the project is the demonstration of flexibility using technologies like batteries, electric vehicles, smart chargers and smart meters, which are being made available via affordable lease and other financing helping customers to avoid large upfront costs.
ReFLEX has also introduced new 100% renewable electricity tariffs for Orkney residents which will help link energy technologies with ReFLEX’s integrated energy system (IES), FlexiGrid.
In order to support rapid transition to net zero, ReFLEX is working with Shell Energy Retail and Drive Electric to support the roll out of technologies in Orkney.
The project is also creating larger-scale and community-focused initiatives such as electric buses, a local electric car club in partnership with Co-wheels, and the integration of green hydrogen for storage and transport.
A key part of the ReFLEX service offering is the ReFLEX support team who will help guide and support energy customers to a decarbonised solution that best suits their needs. The aim is to be a one-stop-shop for all energy service needs. A free membership model has been launched to create a community focused on decarbonisation, sharing topical information about new technologies, approaches and top tips for increasing energy efficiency and affordability. ReFLEX aims to continue to develop and broaden the range of offerings taking on board feedback from the community.