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Scottish island to use 5G-powered digital twin to further carbon neutrality plans

The Scottish island of Orkney has been taking steps towards becoming carbon-neutral through the use of a 5G-powered digital twinning system.

The project which is led by Heriot-Watt University’s Global Research Innovation and Discovery facility (GRID) and is supported by the country’s 5G Center, will comprise of devising a demonstrator which would essentially create a virtual 3D version of the island and outline the different components of its energy system such as domestic batteries, turbines, generators and electric vehicles.

The system which is characterized by an immersive simulator experience will build a virtual dashboard through which the key features of the energy network will be outlined along with a live 5G data connection model to some of the island’s key assets.

The Scotland 5G Centre has been working towards achieving the Scottish Government’s 5G strategy. They stated that the project would enable members of the public in Orkney to feel more engaged in the process, by helping them better understand 5G and the new energy networks that it will enable.

David Richardson, chief entrepreneurial executive at Heriot-Watt University, stated, “Our digital twinning system will demonstrate how Orkney’s new energy network will operate, what the different component parts are, how people can interact with it and collaborate to create a genuinely democratized energy system.”

“It will be an engagement tool that helps people understand how they can get involved in helping the island maximize renewable energy and, ultimately, achieve a carbon neutral future. The system will show people what can be taken from the virtual world and made into a physical reality, helping communities to flourish with the use of renewable technology,” he added.

There are ambitious projects already underway in Orkney to create a state-of-the-art distributed energy system, helping to secure an affordable, reliable and sustainable energy supply for the future,” said innovation strategist at Heriot-Watt University, Gordon Ross.

He continued, “The future of energy is going to be defined by smart, distributed networks and micro-grids. For that to work to its maximum potential we need everyone to understand how it works and how they can get involved in making Orkney a ‘smart energy island’. The island is the ideal testing ground for principles that could be applied on a larger scale elsewhere.”