Recycled electric vehicle batteries will help power Mildenhall Hub
Recycled electric vehicle batteries will be used to help power a town’s new public service hub.
Twenty four second-life Renault Kangoo electric vehicle batteries will form a giant battery, the size of a shipping container, to supply the Mildenhall Hub.
It is among a number of green energy sources planned for the development including 600 solar panels.
The hub, due to open next year, will be home to Mildenhall College Academy, swimming pools, a health centre, advice centre, library and office space.
Cllr John Griffiths, leader of West Suffolk Council, said: “The hub itself, as well as bringing together services for Mildenhall and beyond, will of course be more energy efficient than the buildings that it will replace.
"By incorporating and investing in these environmental technologies we are further reducing the environmental impact of the hub.
"It will also save the hub partners money on their running costs which will make services more resilient to some of the challenges that we may all face over the years ahead."
A ground source heat pump will heat the swimming pools and a combined heat and power unit (CHP) combines a boiler and electricity generator into one.
The 300kW battery, using the electric vehicle batteries and known as an E-STOR, will store any excess energy generated by the solar panels and CHP,
Company Connected Energy is installing the E-STOR and, working with Renault, tests the vehicle batteries before using them.
The batteries last for seven to 10 years in a vehicle before they need to be replaced and can then serve sevento 10 years in the storage unit.
Connected Energy will monitor each battery and replace individual ones as and when required.
Matthew Lumsden, Connected Energy CEO, said: "We maximise the value of already committed natural resources before they are later recycled.
"Our approach to extracting additional value from the finite resources embedded in electric vehicle batteries, and essentially doubling their working lives, is what makes us different to other energy storage providers."
West Suffolk Council has switched energy provider to Ecotricity so when not using electricity generated on-site, the hub will still benefit from 100 per cent renewable electricity.