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Premier Inn to become first battery-powered hotel in UK

Five-tonne battery will supply 200 bedrooms and restaurant at Edinburgh Park hotel.

The Premier Inn at Edinburgh Park.
The Premier Inn at Edinburgh Park. Google 2019

An Edinburgh hotel has become the first in the UK to be battery-powered.

The Gyle Premier Inn at Edinburgh Park has installed a five-tonne battery which will charge from the national grid during off-peak periods and power the 200-room site for several hours each day.

The 3m3 lithium ion battery is expected to save the hotel £20,000 a year on its energy bill, and is able to power the whole venue, including the restaurant, for up to three hours at a time after a two-hour charge.

Premier Inn's parent company Whitbread said the trial of the battery storage technology will help its commitment to halve its carbon emissions by 2025.

Cian Hatton, Whitbread's head of energy and environment, said: "Batteries are of course everyday items, more commonly associated with powering small household goods like the TV remote control, so it's incredibly exciting to launch the UK's first battery-powered hotel."

The hotel chain joins companies including B&Q and Veolia, which both installed lithium ion battery power systems in 2018.

Electricity company E.ON has supplied and installed the technology at the hotel and will be remotely managing the battery's workload and efficiency from its energy management centre in Glasgow.

Richard Oakley, customer accounts director at E.ON, said: "The Gyle at Edinburgh Park is already an energy efficient hotel thanks to the remote monitoring and management of its systems from our control centre in Glasgow.

"By adding the flexibility of battery storage we can also help Whitbread to upgrade to the full-board option of drawing electricity from the grid when prices are low, storing that energy for use at peak times and having the ability to sell it back to the grid to help balance supply and demand on the network.

"Premier Inn is showing how hotel chains and large power users can further save money, reduce their carbon footprint and support the development of a lower-carbon, smarter energy grid in the UK."

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