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Case Studies

Suffolk County Council: The Hold

We installed a battery energy storage system to support ‘The Hold’ to manage its energy usage flexibly, and to develop a new revenue stream by providing grid balancing services through the energy aggregator, GridBeyond.

  • Industry:  Local Authority
  • System no:  1
  • Power:  300kW
  • Capacity:  360kWh
  • Application:  Site optimisation and revenue generation
  • Funtionality:  Managing peak loads and providing grid balancing services


Located within Ipswich’s unique and regenerating Waterfront, The Hold is a newly constructed heritage centre and archive facility for Suffolk, based in Ipswich.

As part of their drive for sustainability, The Hold wished to optimise their energy usage and minimise peak loads across a system that included PV, EV chargers and critical HVAC. This was the first installation of Connected Energy’s new generation of pioneering energy storage system.

The Brief

SCC’s primary objectives for the project were to consolidate the council’s formal commitment to be carbon neutral across its estates and operations by 2030, while generating cash savings and revenue opportunities for both them and the University of Suffolk (UoS), who are key partners in both The Hold and the BESS project.

SCC also wished to generate evidence-based learning on ‘what works’, to inform future energy planning across the council, working in conjunction with the university’s Sustainability Institute, and other local authorities through the Suffolk Climate Change Partnership. The final objective involves developing the council’s knowledge base on the effective operation of sustainable technology, supporting UoS research and training in clean tech solutions and raising the profile of the region for innovation in this area.

The system is now being used in conjunction with the energy aggregator GridBeyond, providing grid balancing services.

Our ongoing commitment to the region’s sustainable development and our partnership with CE and SCC presents a real opportunity to evaluate the role that battery storage must play in supporting a national shift towards rapid decarbonisation. The project has also contributed to building confidence in scalability.

Prof. Mohammad Dastbaz, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Suffolk

The Solution

Connected Energy worked with SCC throughout the building design process and created an E-STOR energy storage system to help optimise both energy use and peak loads – across a scheme including PV, EV chargers and critical HVAC, designed to support the consistent delivery of a controlled climate for the unique archive materials, and to manage running costs.

With the E-STOR system proving very effective at managing the energy usage of the site, Suffolk County Council’s have now moved onto phase two of their plans to explore what revenue they could make by providing grid balancing services through the battery system. The system now facilitates Dynamic Firm Frequency Response (DFFR) and Capacity Market (CM) services as well as providing TRIAD and capacity market avoidance alongside managing DUOS (Distribution Use of System) charges.

As part of The Hold project, Connected Energy is working with the University of Suffolk on a knowledge exchange partnership which supports research and innovation activities across both organisations. The collaboration allows access to the battery storage system for teaching and research purposes, as well as projects to translate university science into practice.

The council is pleased to be working with the University of Suffolk and Connected Energy and providing access to the BESS to ‘seed’ new research and innovation activities within this sector. This project delivers a building which is driving down carbon emissions supporting the council’s pledge to become carbon neutral by 2030, following our climate emergency declaration in 2019.

Cllr Paul West, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Heritage, Suffolk County Council

Next Steps

Now installed, The Hold can now maximise the energy they generate, helping SCC move closer to achieving their commitment to achieve net zero, with the added benefit of generating revenue from the excess energy.

Connected Energy system at the Hold

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