The Smart Energy Network Demonstrator

This programme has now ended. Please visit our Business Support page for information on current support and collaboration opportunities.


Climate change is the single biggest global threat to ever face us, the effects of which are increasingly starting to be felt.

Change is needed urgently and to address this we need to:

  • Better understand how we produce, distribute and consume energy in a more flexible and efficient manner.
  • Reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and to significantly reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change.

The Keele University Smart Energy Network Demonstrator (SEND) – a European first, is an at scale environment providing a platform that allows energy generation, distribution, storage, forecasting and energy balancing to be intelligently carried out across different energy sources using the Keele University campus as a genuine ‘living laboratory.’

The SEND will deliver better energy management, reduce reliance on fossil-fuel derived energy, significantly reducing energy waste and provide the opportunity to trial innovative ways of energy use and management.

The groundbreaking Smart Energy Network Demonstrator (SEND) and Low Carbon Energy Generation Park are winners of a prestigious Green Energy Award, 2023

The SEND project (ref. 32R16P00706) is part-funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the England 2014 to 2020 European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) Growth Programme, and is available to ERDF eligible companies. The project is also receiving funds from the Midlands Engine.

Sir David Attenborough

"“We have the power, and the knowledge, to care for the world…. Keele University is showing that it understands the importance of sustainability.”"

Sir David Attenborough at Keele in May 2019

  • The Institute for Sustainable Futures - driving environmental research excellence.
  • One of the first UK universities to declare a ‘climate emergency’.
  • Committed to divestment from fossil fuels.
  • Driving environmental sustainability research across all areas of scholarship.
  • 24,000 solar panels & two wind turbines approved, up to 50% of Keele’s electrical energy.

For more information on Green Keele, please visit

Keele is like a small town, with 350 buildings on the university campus, from family homes, flats and students accommodation, to teaching spaces, laboratories, sports facilities and business premises. It's the perfect place for the SEND.

  • An international test-bed for new low-carbon energy technologies.
  • A showcase for reliable, local, diverse, sustainable energy.
  • Integrating solar, wind, hydrogen, combined heat & power.
  • Powering up transport with an electric vehicle charging Green Zone.

For more information on the technical aspects of the project, please visit our Estates Project pages.

A new MSc in Smart Energy Management at Keele University is starting in September 2020. It will allow students to learn more about Smart Energy and sustainability, and have access to the Smart Energy Network Demonstrator on the campus. There is also the possibility to undertake a SEND three-month project with a Staffordshire SME.

For more information and to apply, please visit the course page.

Keele University has won a prestigious Green Energy award for its groundbreaking Smart Energy Network Demonstrator (SEND) and Low Carbon Energy Generation Park. 

Keele took home the Clean Energy Scheme Award, which commends projects that are “spearheading the clean energy industry and delivering significant carbon savings”. 

The Green Energy Awards, led by renewable energy strategists Regen, are assessed by national and global leaders in the green energy industry, and celebrate the fantastic work of organisations all over the country that are championing smart, sustainable, low carbon energy systems.  

The demonstration facility and data generated by SEND will underpin new research and innovation partnerships with local, regional and international business, generating new products, services and knowledge to drive sustainable high value economic growth and jobs locally as part of a UK-wide commitment to lead internationally as the home of ‘clean growth.’

Keele Energy Graphic 1000px

The UK’s Research and Development Hotspot

SEND will provide a rich seam of energy data to fuel research - generating new jobs and growth. It is funding a host of collaborations with enterprise in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire. Specialist researchers are matched to business needs to help develop new technologies, markets and systems. Research collaborations are already taking off.

Information is Power
SEND is an energy ecosystem with an intelligent brain at its heart. Information is the key.

Never before has a constant stream of live energy data from so many sources been integrated, processed and analysed - automatically balancing and controlling energy flows.

It will all be controlled by the cutting-edge intelligent information systems in the new Horwood Energy Centre. It will include a "digital twin" allowing researchers to "plug in and play", conducting energy experiments in a perfect virtual model.