The Gyle at Edinburgh Park, Premier Inn, has become the UK’s first battery-powered hotel.
The idea is part of a bid to improve energy efficiency, secure power supply and enable energy cost savings on-site.
In a UK-first, Whitbread-owned Premier Inn is trialling a new 100kW lithium ion battery at the 200-room site in Edinburgh, to help the hotel better manage its energy consumption.
The battery, which is three metres square in size and weighs approximately five tonnes, functions by drawing power from the National Grid during off-peak periods.
It has capacity to run The Gyle hotel – including powering meals cooked at its Thyme bar and grill – for up to three hours.
The battery takes two hours to fully charge and will be used for at least two-to-three hours per day on-site, depending on the needs of the National Grid.
The Gyle at Edinburgh Park was chosen as the first site to trial the battery in part because Scotland is a large producer of renewable power, such as wind power, which can be prone to volatility.
At such times, the battery will help the National Grid by reducing demand from the system.
As well as powering the Edinburgh-based hotel, the trial of the new battery storage system allows the Premier Inn site to avoid increased peak-time energy costs and generate revenue by offering energy support services to the National Grid - in essence, by being paid in exchange for taking power off the grid.
The installation is expected to save the hotel £20,000 per year in energy savings alone.
Project partner E.ON has supplied and installed the battery technology and will be remotely managing the battery’s workload and efficiency from its energy management centre in Glasgow.
Premier Inn is already the industry’s widest adopter of solar panels, and the trial of the battery storage technology at its Edinburgh Park site marks another step towards meeting parent company Whitbread’s commitment to cut carbon emissions in half by 2025.
Cian Hatton, Whitbread head of energy and environment, commented: “Batteries are of course everyday items, more commonly associated with powering small household goods, like the TV remote control, so it’s incredibly excited to launch the UK’s first battery-powered hotel – an innovation which will save money, ensure security of supply and support the transition to a more flexible grid.”
If successful, the trial could be extended more widely across the Premier Inn estate.