14 February 2020
Councillor Tom Hayes, Oxford City Council, Matthew Boulton of Pivot Power and Dr David Howey from University of Oxford were interviewed by UK Research & Innovation last year. Here they are explaining what Energy Superhub Oxford (ESO) is, and why it’s so ground-breaking, in just two minutes!
Cllr. Tom Hayes, Oxford City Council (TH): In early 2019, Oxford City Council declared a climate emergency. All of our cities in all of our countries in the world need to be tackling climate change in order to get to net zero carbon by 2050.
Matthew Boulton, Chief Commercial Officer, Pivot Power (MB): There’s been a fundamental revolution in the last five to ten years in terms of where our energy comes from – a massive shift to wind and solar. Now we’re getting to the point where we have to find ways of harnessing that power and being able to control when it is dispatched. Energy Superhub Oxford is an innovative infrastructure project looking to decarbonise energy, transport and heat.
Dr David Howey, Associate Professor in Engineering Science, Oxford University (DH): There’s going to be a large lithium-ion battery and a fairly large flow-battery as well. So batteries are a bit like warehouse for the power grid., They allow you to store energy while the sun is shining and use it in the evening when the demand is much higher.
MB: We are creating the world’s most powerful EV network to accelerate the electrification of transport and we will be installing over 300 domestic ground source heat pumps to replace our oil and gas fired boilers with clean electrical equivalents.
DH: So the project is really a demonstration of lots of different technologies but the thing that ties it all together is how you would control assets to deliver what the customer wants but also to deliver value that is profitable and that enables the power grid to be cleaner.
MB: The key success is to have demonstrated by 2022 that we have engaged and got the entire Oxford community on board so that we have higher adoption rates of EVs and heat pumps than anywhere else in the country and we’re laying down a challenge to other cities to follow.
TH: We’re going to be seeing many green jobs generated, the jobs of the future. We’re going to be seeing a higher quality of life as people can breather cleaner air and they can rely on fossil fuel generation much less, and we’re also frankly going to be seeing the transformation of our city that we need to be seeing across our country.