North Tyneside Council is reusing former electric vehicle (EV) batteries to help power the local authority’s Killingworth depot and charge its electric van fleet overnight.
The facility, which is home to around 1,000 council staff and partners, features a rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) array and car ports that help to power the building and support 40 EV chargers.
Now, batteries taken from end-of-life electric vans have been reconfigured into an energy storage system (ESS) to store energy from the building’s solar panels, creating a microgrid at the location.
In turn, the microgrid is used by the council to support the facility’s energy demand alongside on-site fleet and staff EV charging.
Supplied by Connected Energy, the E-STOR ESS uses batteries that have up to 80% of their original energy storage capacity at the end of the vehicle’s life.
Ian Lillie, strategic facilities manager for North Tyneside Council, said: “The ability to power the vans of the future using batteries from the vans of the past was a compelling argument for us.
“On top of that, the scalability of the solution means we can ramp up our use of the ESS on site as we expand our EV fleet.”
The council is revitalising its Killingworth depot in a multimillion-pound project supported by the European Regional Development Fund, with an aim to futureproof the site for sustainability and energy efficiency.
Since installing and commissioning the PV array in February 2023, the Killingworth site has reportedly generated more than 100,000kW of green energy.
However, North Tyneside Council said it has had to give back more than 20,000kW to the grid because it couldn’t store it.
“Now, we can capture that energy and use it to charge our electric vans and indeed the buildings on site overnight,” said Lillie.
“And in the winter, we can use the ESS to store energy from the grid on lower tariffs at night, to use during the day.
“The combination of solar and ESS should significantly reduce our electricity bills while also cutting carbon emissions from our energy consumption.”