The Orkney Islands have been leading the way in transitioning to renewable energy generation for decades. Orkney has a long-standing heritage as a national location for testing modern wind turbine technology, is home to the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) – the world’s leading wave and tidal energy demonstration facility, and is pioneering the development of a green hydrogen economy. Today, Orkney generates over 100% of its electricity demand from renewables (mostly wind and solar) and has done since 2013.
Orkney’s community are at the heart of this energy revolution, with 10% of homes on Orkney having microgeneration (compared to 2.8% UK average) and 375% more electric vehicles per home than the UK average.
Building on this, the ReFLEX Orkney demonstration project was launched in April 2019 to create a first-of-its-kind integrated energy system across Orkney, interlinking local electricity, transport and heat networks into one controllable, overarching system. The project aims to decarbonise Orkney’s energy system and increase the use of local renewable generation through the roll out of domestic and commercial batteries, up to 600 electric vehicles in Orkney and the introduction of a competitive local renewable electricity tariff.
Following successful demonstration in Orkney, it is intended that ReFLEX be replicated across other islands around the globe. Funded by the UKRI through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, the project is being led by EMEC and includes Solo Energy, Aquatera, Doosan Babcock, Community Energy Scotland, Heriot-Watt University, and Orkney Islands Council.
Co-founder of Solo Energy where we are merging blockchain and our advanced energy storage platform to create the Virtual Power Plant of the future.
Solo deploys and aggregates distributed batteries and electric vehicles in homes and businesses to store energy at times of peak renewable generation. We're creating a shared energy economy where renewable energy is shared through peer-to-peer (P2P) energy trading.
Chief Executive Officer, Solo Energy
Managing Director, Solo Energy
Hydrogen Project Officer, at Orkney Islands Council
Hydrogen Project Manager, at EMEC
Orkney is an ideal base for us with its excellent oceanic wave regime, strong tidal currents, grid connection, sheltered harbour facilities and the renewable, maritime and environmental expertise that exists within the local community.
With 13 grid-connected test berths, there have been more marine energy converters deployed at EMEC than at any other single site in the world, with developers attracted from around the globe to prove what is achievable in some of the harshest marine environments.
Solo are building the power plant of the future – the Virtual Power Plant. The building blocks of a Virtual Power Plant are batteries. Unlike a conventional power plant, our Virtual Power Plant is not a large industrial plant in one single location, but a connected system of distributed batteries and Electric Vehicles in homes and businesses across the grid. We digitally link these assets to act as an intelligent system of flexible demand and supply which help balance the intermittency of renewable generation.
We take a multi-disciplinary approach to projects, supporting clients from planning right through to delivery and decommissioning. Our flexible business model, which draws on a wide network of associates and delivery partners, enables us to respond to clients’ needs whoever and wherever they are.