Equans & UrbanChain launch Europe’s first net zero carbon neighbourhood

  • Equans & UrbanChain launch Europe’s first net zero carbon neighbourhood in Brockmoor, Dudley.
  • Project integrates solar panels and battery storage for a cohesive energy system, reducing costs through a Virtual Power Plant (VPP).
  • Initiative aims to combat fuel poverty, with Equans leading in sustainable energy solutions for urban areas.

Equans & UrbanChain Transform Brockmoor into Europe’s First Net Zero Carbon Neighbourhood

Equans has announced a major milestone for its groundbreaking project in Brockmoor, Dudley, aiming to deliver Europe’s first net zero carbon neighbourhood, addressing climate change and fuel poverty simultaneously.

Equans will partner with UrbanChain and Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council to develop and deploy one of the UK’s first Virtual Power Plants (VPP) in council-owned buildings, creating a pooled energy solution in Brockmoor.

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Colin Macpherson, Divisional CEO for Equans UK & Ireland, commented: 

“We are pleased to be working with UrbanChain, who share our vision of making green energy affordable and putting communities first.  Together, we hope to unlock capital for the council so it can continue its bold journey of decarbonising, while improving lives.

This is a truly innovative and groundbreaking project. As well as the promise of reducing carbon emissions, it has the potential of spearheading a step change in energy supply; but more importantly, it has the capability of making real inroads to combat fuel poverty.”

The initiative will integrate solar panels and battery storage across residential and commercial properties, creating a cohesive energy generation and demand management system. This will enable tenants to buy cheaper energy through the VPP instead of purchasing directly from the grid.

The VPP solution will enable communities and asset owners to share 100% clean energy using blockchain and AI in a P2P energy exchange. It flexibly distributes energy and savings with no upfront costs for local authorities or tenants. This method creates revenue streams for Equans, allowing local authorities to reinvest in other projects and services.

Dr. Somayeh Taheri, CEO of UrbanChain said: 

“This collaboration represents a significant milestone in our mission to address fuel poverty and provide a return on investment for local authorities and communities committed to making a lasting impact. We are excited to showcase how our innovative technology can play a crucial role in transforming energy management and sustainability at the community level.”

Equans secured £1.65 million in funding from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) for the wider net zero neighbourhood. This pilot will seek scalable solutions to decarbonize neighbourhoods across all seven local authority areas in the West Midlands, supporting efforts to combat fuel poverty.

Work on the net zero carbon neighbourhood is already underway and will continue over the next two years. Equans is committed to pioneering sustainable energy solutions and setting a benchmark for future developments in urban decarbonisation. This initiative will support local economies and enhance residents’ quality of life, demonstrating the feasibility and benefits of net zero carbon communities.

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