Premier Inn has created the UK’s first battery-powered hotel at the Gyle Edinburgh Park as part of a new initiative that is expected to achieve savings of £20,000 a year.
The hotel chain’s owner, Whitbread, is has installed a new 100kW ion battery at the 200-bedroom site, in a bid to better manage energy consumption.
The five-tonne battery will draw power from the National Grid during off-peak periods, holding enough to run the hotel and its Thyme bar and grill for up to three hours.
The battery takes two hours to charge and will be used two to three times a day. The site was chosen because Scotland is a large producer of renewable power which can be prone to volatility and Whitbread said the scheme would allow demand on the grid to be reduced during these periods.
The battery storage system will also allow the hotel to avoid peak-time energy costs and generate revenue by offering energy support services to the National Grid.
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 excited 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.”
Richard Oakley, customer accounts director at E.ON, added: “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. Premier Inn is showing how hotel chains and large power users can further save money, reduce their carbon footprint and support the development of a lower-carbon, smarter energy grid in the UK.”
If successful, the trial could be extended across Premier Inn’s estate.