Retailer Sainsbury’s, water management organisation United Utilities and manufacturer Aggregate Industries have formed a working partnership for a new programme called the Living Grid.
The trio of British businesses have become founding partner organisations of the Living Grid, which was catalysed by the non-profit Forum for the Future. In total, the network intends to include 20 organisations.
Living Grid is a new energy network, which focusses on generating 200MW of flexible energy by 2020. This would be enough to power 100,000 kettles across the UK. In addition, the three partners aim to supply 39MW of flexible power.
The Living Grid is expected to transform into a new, responsive and intelligent energy network inspired by nature. It will be able to make complete use of renewable sources of energy.
In its first year, Living Grid aims at allowing energy consumers to interact and adjust their individual use of electricity in order to facilitate the entire system. To start with, it connects equipment of the corporate energy users with the smart intelligent demand response technology provided by founding tech partner Open Energi.
This technology enables equipment to continuously adjust its electricity usage based on demand and supply across the grid without impacting performance. Connected equipment reduces consumption for a short while at peak times when electricity supply cannot cope up with demand.
This not only helps other consumers, but also cuts peak-time pricing, reducing energy bills in the long-term.
By 2020, the three founding partners aim to implement the new technology across all operations, aiming to deliver 88,764t of carbon savings.
Sainsbury’s Sustainability, head of engineering, energy and environment Paul Crewe said: "By joining forces with others to change how we use electricity, we’re saving extra carbon emissions for the UK and helping to make our electricity network more efficient, for the benefit of everyone."