UK’s first battery powered hotel comes to Edinburgh

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AN Edinburgh hotel has become the first in the UK to be operated by battery power.

The Gyle Premier Inn, at Edinburgh Park, has installed a five-tonne battery which will charge from the national grid during off-peak periods and power the 200-room site for several hours each day.

General View of  the Premier Inn at Edinburgh Park South Gyle, Edinburgh.

General View of the Premier Inn at Edinburgh Park South Gyle, Edinburgh.

The 3m3 lithium ion battery is expected to save the hotel £20,000 a year on its energy bill, and is able to power the whole venue, including the restaurant, for up to three hours at a time after a two-hour charge.

The new system also allows hotel management to avoid increased peak-time energy costs and generate revenue by offering energy support services to the national grid – in essence, by being paid in exchange for taking power off the grid.

Premier Inn’s parent company, Whitbread, said the trial of the advanced battery storage technology will help its commitment to halve its carbon emissions by 2025.

Cian Hatton, Whitbread’s head of energy and environment, said: “Batteries are of course everyday items, more commonly associated with powering small household goods like the TV remote control, so it’s incredibly exciting to launch the UK’s first battery-powered hotel – an innovation which will save money, ensure security of supply and support the transition to a more flexible grid.”

The Capital hotel was chosen as the first site to trial the battery in part because Scotland is a large producer of renewable power, such as wind power, which can be prone to volatility. At such times, the battery will help the national grid by reducing demand from the system.

Electricity company E.ON has supplied and installed the battery, which is three cubic metres in size. It will be remotely managing the battery’s workload and efficiency from its energy management centre in Glasgow.

Richard Oakley, customer accounts director at E.ON, said: “The Gyle at Edinburgh Park is already an energy efficient hotel thanks to the remote monitoring and management of its systems from our control centre in Glasgow.

“By adding the flexibility of battery storage we can also help Whitbread to upgrade to the full-board option of drawing electricity from the grid when prices are low, storing that energy for use at peak times and having the ability to sell it back to the grid to help balance supply and demand on the network.”