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Manchester’s Smart City Future Shines Bright with Tesla System Addition

Manchester continues to retain its smart city status as it invests in yet another initiative to boost the city's operations.

By April Slattery

The City of Manchester’s ongoing push to become a smart city took another step forward this week, as the Manchester Science Park (MSP) installed a Tesla Powerpack System, as part of the CityVerve Project 

MSP has invested over £400,000 in its energy strategy installing Tesla’s Powerpack System outside the Bright Building, along with two new electric car charging points, hoping to reduce its carbon footprint through wider use of renewable energy.

“MSP and Bruntwood are committed to investing in our buildings, utilising cutting-edge technology to both improve the experience of our customers and reduce our carbon footprint,” Tom Renn, Managing Director at MSP, said. “We have bold plans to harness the opportunities provided by advanced energy and the pilot installation marks a key milestone in our advanced energy strategy.”

Tesla’s Powerpack system has been installed with four Powerbacks and one inverter; with the capability to have up to 16 additional Powerpacks added on request, if building requirements increase on a power or energy level.

As the requirements for energy markets constantly change, the ability to be flexible and expand provides MSP with “a level of resilience and reassurance”, potentially enabling the building to run on its energy storage system all day.

In addition to becoming more energy efficient the Powerpack allows MSP, and majority shareholder Bruntwood, to offer customers operating in R&D the assurance in resilience and business continuity.

“The cost and feasibility of implementing lithium-ion batteries has changed markedly in recent years, making commercial energy storage viable,” Bev Taylor, Bruntwood’s Head of Energy, said. “We’ll be monitoring the cost savings and CO2 reduction in the coming months, with a view to installing further units at other Bruntwood buildings and developments, such as Circle Square, Alderley Park and Innovation Birmingham.”

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CityVerve was first launched with Cisco and MSP in September last year, demonstrating how Manchester City Centre has been transformed into a working smart city.

In addition to the initiative from Cisco and MSP, Manchester was also selected by Triangulum to make up part of its three point project; making the city a testbed for projects focusing on sustaining mobility and energy, using expertise from 22 industry partners.

The project duration is expected to last until 2020 with a €30million in total; aiming to transform a student quarter into a smart city district, building an autonomous energy grid to supply heat and electricity across the district as operating electricity grids and a fuel cell to store excess energy.

Both projects, alongside the substantial investments, aim to make Manchester an efficient working smart city; bettering the outcomes for both residents and start-ups alike.

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