Bristol City Council gives green light to installing a battery at the City Hall


On a mission to decarbonise Bristol by 2030, the City Council cabinet members have given the go-ahead to the installation of an innovative battery at City Hall.

The City Hall Battery Project, which aims to cut electricity bills, was approved by the Mayor and cabinet in yesterday’s cabinet meeting.

The City Hall Battery Project, which aims to cut electricity bills, was approved by the Mayor and cabinet in yesterday’s cabinet meeting, as part of the wider city decarbonisation strategy.

The battery will be installed in the basement of City Hall later this year.

Councillor Kye Dudd, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Transport, Energy and New Green Deal, commented on the project: “This is another first for Bristol City Council – an exciting project that will use new technology to significantly cut emissions from our main office building and ensure that the council remains on track to be a carbon neutral organisation by 2025.”

The storage system will allow the council to generate savings by charging the battery when energy prices are low before discharging when they are at their peak.

The battery will also help the council cut their carbon emissions, as the grid is often most carbon intensive at peak hours.

Bristol Energy, who power all of the council’s sites, will support the council to benefit from the system, which can also be used to gain an income by helping balance the grid or save on money through ‘peak shifting’.

The battery’s combined income and savings are estimated to be £33,000 a year, with the council saving around £16,000 a year on their electricity bills.

Samantha Nicol, Head of Innovation at Bristol Energy, added: “Battery storage is a vital component in the transition to clean energy.

“We are thrilled that the council have given the go ahead to the City Hall Battery Project, which will reduce the council’s energy bills while helping Bristol Energy explore new revenue streams.

“This is a key new area of commercialisation for the council and future opportunities for City Leap.”

The battery is being installed as part of the council’s City Leap initiative, which seeks to deliver a carbon neutral smart energy city by 2030 through a joint venture with another organisation or group of organisations.

The City Leap procurement process, led by the council, is underway.

The battery will be purchased by the council and controlled by Bristol Energy in partnership with Upside Energy.

Devrim Celal, CEO of Upside Energy, commented on the partnership: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Bristol Energy on this project.

“Battery storage is a vital part of the UK’s energy future and Bristol’s plans to be zero carbon make them an ideal partner for us in our mission to play a key role in decarbonising the UK’s energy system.

“This pioneering project will be the first of many while we look at ways to use similar technology alongside solar renewables for the good of our tenants in social housing.”

If the pilot project succeeds in saving the council money while cutting their carbon, it is hoped additional batteries will be installed across the council’s estate.

The council and Bristol Energy are also working together on a ‘Save with Solar’ project, which aims to help council tenants reduce their energy bills and carbon emissions using solar and battery technology.

The pilot involves the installation of solar panels and domestic batteries, owned by the council, in social housing properties across the city, in areas including Brislington, Broomhill, Coomb Dingle, Southmead, Shirehampton and Lockleaze.

Participating homes are offered account credit, and a special discounted rate on their electricity bill for the two year-long trial, that reflects the expected savings that the technology will bring.

After the trial, the homes will retain the solar panels and batteries. Installations are due to begin in the spring, and if the project is successful, ‘Save with Solar’ could be rolled out to more of the council’s social housing tenants.