Glasgow Caledonian University installs ‘virtual power station’ for smarter energy management

Glasgow Caledonian University (pictured) has recently become the first Scottish organisation to install Open Energi’s innovative demand side response (DSR) technology.

GCU has equipped its award-winning Saltire Centre with Dynamic Demand technology to create a ‘virtual power station’, transforming how the university uses energy and – potentially pathfinding the way for Scotland’s decentralised, low carbon future.

The technology was installed in early 2015, turning air handling units throughout the building into “smart” devices which can adjust their energy use in real-time to help balance electricity supply and demand UK-wide, without any impact on students or staff.

Kenny Allen, Estates Manager, Glasgow Caledonian University, explained: “This intelligent energy demand is helping to transform how we use and deliver energy, providing the demand-side flexibility we need to support a more decentralised, low carbon future.

“The Saltire Centre alone provides around 100kw of flexible capacity and a further three buildings are expected to bring this up to 300kw following a second phase of installations.

 “Glasgow Caledonian University is enormously proud of the progress we have made in sustainability but we want to go further. Dynamic Demand enables us to play an active role in decarbonising the UK’s energy system by providing the flexibility in demand which is essential to support greater use of renewables.”

Ged Holmes, Commercial Director, Open Energi, added: “Demand Side Response is proof that sustainability doesn’t have to come at the price of productivity.

“Our technology is invisible to businesses but invaluable to National Grid, so students and staff across GCU’s campus can go about their business while the flexible energy demand from their buildings helps build a cleaner, cheaper and more secure energy future for the UK.

“As the first organisation in Scotland to implement Dynamic Demand, GCU is blazing a trail in intelligent demand response and we hope more Scottish businesses will follow suit.”

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