Repowering London is a social enterprise that specialises in working with community groups and local authorities on renewable energy projects, offering guidance and project management services. Their mission is to create empowered communities that control and own the generation and usage of renewable energy.
In 2015, Repowering London developed a project alongside Hackney Energy and residents of the Banister House Estate to make Banister House a solar energy social housing area. 100kw capacity of solar panels were installed across 13 buildings, making it one of Repowering London’s largest projects to date.
Repowering London’s aim was to enable an empowered, almost self-sustaining community where residents incorporated new information technologies and local renewable energy sources to lower energy bills. Due to previous collaborations with ASL on two other projects, Brixton Energy and Roupell Park, they came to ASL for assistance regarding meters and connectivity.
ASL provided Repowering London with ASL’s network intelligent modem that communicates through GSM/GPRS. The modem collects data on solar generation and electricity usage every day that is used onsite and not exported back to the grid. This has informed Repowering London on how much to bill the landlord at Banister House and helped Repowering London’s financial model since a large amount of income is due to the solar electricity being sold back to the landlord, Hackney Council.
Furthermore, the simplicity of ASL’s collection method was praised by Felix Wight, the Technical Director at Repowering London. He said it has made it easier for them to “monitor the performance of the system and help keep track of their multiple projects”. This is due to ASL’s modem utilising a bespoke telemetry protocol (ATP) which provides efficient connectivity between the modem and the hosted gateway, ensuring Repowering London with maximum uptime, reduced data usage and high availability.
Moreover, Repowering London wished to build a bespoke portal to analyse their data instead of using ASL’s standard web-based portal. Therefore, ASL set up file access in order to send Repowering London the raw data files to pass into their own specialised portal. Felix Wight stated that “working with ASL’s technical team to create their bespoke access has been really helpful and has reduced our costs”.
Repowering London’s project made Banister House the first community-owned solar energy project in Hackney as well as the UK’s largest community energy project on social housing. It is predicted that Hackney Council will benefit from potential savings of £20,000 in energy costs over the 20-year lifetime of this project.
At the same time, 679 tonnes of CO2 will be prevented from entering the atmosphere. Since the project was completed, Banister House has generated 342,720 kWh of clean, renewable electricity. This equates to the electricity usage of 38 average Banister flats per year. This means that Banister House has saved around 156 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere since its launch.
A follow-on project has begun to see how residents of Banister House can use the electricity that is being generated and explore ways to help reduce their bills further.
Repowering London has ongoing work with ASL working on various new upcoming projects, including Vauxhall Energy and North Kensington Community Energy. Felix said that this is since “ASL’s customer service and delivery of the product has always been very professional.”