Exciting times for energy if Bicester project is a success

An ultra-efficient and ground breaking energy technology could power new homes in the Bicester Garden Town if a new study succeeds.

First of its kind in the UK

The DIMES (Distributed Integrated Multi-Use Energy System) project – a unique project for the UK - is looking at how a high-tech Fuel Cell system could heat, electrically power and provide hydrogen transport fuel for new developments.

Clean and high quality technology

Fuel cells cleanly and efficiently convert energy from hydrogen-rich fuels into electrical power and usable high quality heat using an electrochemical process.

The study has received £60,000 form Innovate UK and aims to show that the technology, potentially the first of its kind at this size in the UK, is a viable and clean energy source.

Fuel Cell Systems Limited is leading the project alongside partners from the University of Oxford, Oxfordshire County Council, Cherwell District Council and Metropolitan Infrastructure Limited.

Tom Sperrey, MD of Fuel Cell Systems Limited said: “We are delighted that Innovate UK has awarded the funds to the DIMES project team to investigate this game-changing, clean energy technology.

“We would like to show how Fuel Cell technology would cost effectively heat and power properties, and could bring millions of pounds into the local economy, creating skilled employment for Bicester workers.

“The UK’s widespread air pollution problems would be assisted with the development of the zero emission hydrogen fuel and is part of a zero carbon future, with the potential to offer more than a gas powered CHP heat network.”

Answer to future energy supply

County Councillor Ian Hudspeth, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, said: “This is a really exciting development as we are looking closely at something that could be an answer to energy supply problems of the future.

“Oxfordshire is the home of technical innovation and Bicester is at the heart of growth in the county and so clearly the partnership we are involved in a perfect answer to the challenges ahead.”

Cllr Barry Wood, Leader of Cherwell District Council said: “Bicester residents’ health and wellbeing is for us the focal point of the town’s growth. We are encouraging people to be more active by choosing cleaner, greener transport alternatives, such as walking and cycling.

"Therefore improving the air quality is crucial and we welcome the funding to DIMES as it goes towards our aim to make Bicester an even better place to live, work and play.”

The findings of the project will be published in November this year.