UK city launches ‘world’s first’ zero-carbon superhub

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Oxford City Council has launched Energy Superhub Oxford (ESO), which is thought to be a world-first project that integrates decarbonising power, heat and transport across a city. As part of the project, the local authority has taken delivery of its first EVs, as well as laying out the next steps for EV charging infrastructure, transport, and low carbon heating for homes.

ESO is a collaboration between Pivot Power, a UK-based EDF Renewables energy company, and Oxford City Council. Pivot Power includes Habitat Energy, Invinity Energy Systems, Kensa Contracting and the University of Oxford. The collaboration will see a trail of the world’s largest hybrid battery system (50MW) as it supports the acceleration of Oxford’s electric vehicle charging capacity and fleets. It will also power ground-source heat pumps for residential properties.

Oxford City Council’s wholly-owned company, ODS, has added six new EVs to its current fleet. What’s more, there will be a delivery of 27 additional fleets over the next 3 to 4 months. The aim is to electricity 25 per cent of its 300 fleets by 2023.

The ESO project will also mean that Oxford residents can benefit from low carbon heating solutions. The project is supporting the installation of innovative low carbon heating solution, combining “shoebox” ground source heat pumps with smart controls. There will also be a time of use tariff to optimise heat production and save on cost and carbon.

The first 60 properties will be in Blackbird Leys, with work to begin as early as possible. The project aims to then roll out this technology to 300 properties in and around Oxford over the space of two years.

Cllr Tom Hayes, Cabinet Member for Zero Carbon Oxford, Oxford City Council said: “Oxford is continuing to show leadership in tackling the climate emergency. With this project, we’re encouraging the adoption of electric vehicles and the move to zero carbon.

“Energy Superhub Oxford gives Oxford strengths that no other city currently has: the world’s most powerful charging network and the world’s largest-ever hybrid battery, and as a result, we can accelerate our EV charging infrastructure for businesses and residents.”

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