A project to explore the development of the “next generation” of virtual power plants has won £100,000-worth of funding in the UK.

The Yorkshire Post reports that the centrally-controlled plants will use clusters of combined heat and power (CHP) systems to power hospitals and business parks – to bolster supply when they are not operating at capacity. The idea is that this will help to meet peaks in energy demand.

The match-funded grant from the Technology Strategy Board, the Government’s innovation agency, has been awarded to a consortium set up by Advanced Digital Institute (ADI), which also includes industry partners ENER-G, Flexitricity, Smarter Grid Solutions and UK Power Networks.

John Eaglesham, chief executive of ADI, which is project managing the initiative, said:

“While shoring up electricity supplies, the project will also examine new solutions for low carbon, low cost heat distribution. This could incentivise the UK CHP industry to provide more CHPs in areas where current UK Government incentives have fallen short.”

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