UK Logistics Park to Launch 2MW Microgrid

Feb. 9, 2023
Rolls-Royce will supply a new integrated microgrid at Symmetry Park, a logistics center in Biggleswade, UK.

Base Power is developing a new 2 MW energy center at Symmetry Park, a logistics park located in Biggleswade, UK, about an hour north of London. At its heart will be an integrated microgrid from Rolls-Royce.

The microgrid will supplement power from the national grid and provide the park’s tenants with reliable, sustainable, and cheaper electricity, according to Tom Lemming, development director at Tritax Symmetry, the company that owns the Biggleswade facility.

“The installation of energy centers on our parks will provide tenants at the site with greater resilience, more competitive energy, and a pathway to fully net zero carbon,” Lemming said.

Lemming estimates that the microgrid will save tenants between five and ten percent on their current grid energy bills.

A fully integrated microgrid

The energy center microgrid will be provided by Rolls-Royce’s mtu brand. In addition to on-site rooftop solar, the center will have three mtu combined heat & power (CHP) plants.

It will also include two EnergyPack battery containers with 2.3 MWh of capacity. The batteries will support varying load demands and can also serve as Symmetry Park’s primary source of power. Two standby generators will provide backup power in case of emergency.

“We are thrilled to be the power solution provider of choice for this sustainable project,” said Andreas Görtz, president of Sustainable Power Solutions at Rolls-Royce said.

Görtz went on to say that the microgrid “will undoubtedly be a blueprint for further microgrid projects all over the world.”

Smart microgrid controllers run the show

Rolls-Royce will also provide the two smart microgrid control systems to manage the onsite solar and the other connected power sources. This includes managing the center’s connection to the national grid.

The controllers will supply electricity to Symmetry Park by selecting the best power source, or combination of sources, at any given time.

Thinking ahead

The CHP plants can be converted to hydrogen power once that power source is more readily available, and the system can be expanded by adding more solar panels.

Microgrids are powering more logistics centers

Lemming said, “one of the priorities our clients have when deciding on a new location for their business is power.” It’s for this reason that Symmetry Park isn’t the only logistics center adding a microgrid. The largest intermodal freight and logistics facility in Australia, for example, recently announced that it would be installing a solar microgrid to provide its tenant with reliable, greener, and cheaper electricity.

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About the Author

Kathy Hitchens | Special Projects Editor

I work as a writer and special projects editor for Microgrid Knowledge. I have over 30 years of writing experience, working with a variety of companies in the renewable energy, electric vehicle and utility sector, as well as those in the entertainment, education, and financial industries. I have a BFA in Media Arts from the University of Arizona and a MBA from the University of Denver.