The University of Oxford is partnering with Siemens to conduct research and development of an energy management system, using £158,550 in funding secured from Innovate UK.
The project will run through to March 2019 and will develop a virtual private power wire network to centralise management of multiple buildings' energy demands.
The pilot includes assessing the economic, social and environmental impacts of the virtual network in managing the 400 buildings, which consume around £1 million in energy a month.
The aim is for each building able to reduce its carbon footprint, following the University of Oxford being ranked the fourth highest emitter amongst all UK universities.
The project will enable each building to connect to an onsite battery storage system and microgrid and to optimise individual energy use.
Parth Mehta, campus lead at Siemens Distributed Energy Systems said: “The development of decentralised energy provides huge opportunities for universities and industrial facilities to become self-sufficient, however, large organisations cannot easily co-ordinate different types of energy storage and generation across multiple sites.
“This innovative study is just the start and will prove that a virtual private network has the dual benefits of reducing the cost of balancing supply and demand with reduction in carbon emissions and service reliability.”