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22/05/2024

Equans To Deliver First Virtual Power Plant In Brockmoor

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Equans is partnering with UrbanChain and Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council (DMBC) to deliver one of the UK's first Virtual Power Plants (VPPs) in council-owned buildings, establishing a pooled energy solution in Brockmoor.

The Brockmoor neighbourhood is set to be Europe's first net-zero carbon neighbourhood, addressing climate change and fuel poverty concurrently.

The VPP solution integrates blockchain and Artificial Intelligence (AI) into a peer-to-peer (P2P) energy exchange, enabling communities and asset owners to share 100 per cent clean energy. It offers flexible distribution of energy and savings to multiple beneficiaries, with no upfront capital costs to the local authority or tenant. This innovative approach allows Equans to generate revenue streams, unlocking private finance or supplementing partners' revenue for reinvestment in other projects or services.

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Equans previously secured £1.65 million in funding from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), for the wider net zero neighbourhood, which will act as a pilot to seek a scalable solution for decarbonising neighbourhoods across all seven local authority areas in the West Midlands, while supporting efforts to combat fuel poverty.

Colin Macpherson, Divisional CEO for Equans UK & Ireland, commented: "We are pleased to be working with UrbanChain, who share our vision of making green energy affordable and putting communities first. Together, we hope to unlock capital for the council so it can continue its bold journey of decarbonising, while improving lives.

"This is a truly innovative and groundbreaking project. As well as the promise of reducing carbon emissions, it has the potential of spearheading a step change in energy supply; but more importantly, it has the capability of making real inroads to combat fuel poverty."

Dr. Somayeh Taheri, CEO of UrbanChain said: "This collaboration represents a significant milestone in our mission to address fuel poverty and provide a return on investment for local authorities and communities committed to making a lasting impact. We are excited to showcase how our innovative technology can play a crucial role in transforming energy management and sustainability at the community level."

Work on the net zero carbon neighbourhood is already underway and will continue over the next two years.

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