NINES Project

Hjaltland Housing Association is a key part of a pioneering smart grid project in Shetland, the Northern Isles New Energy Solutions (NINES) project.

The project aims to improve and stabilise the electricity grid in Shetland, ultimately allowing more renewables to connect to the grid.

This will be achieved, in part, through installing new, more efficient, storage heaters and water tanks in domestic properties as well as the installation of a large capacity – 1MW – battery at the Lerwick Power Station.

Flexible charging regimes and better control of heating output mean the new heaters will contribute to both managing the demand on power in the isles and storing power from renewable sources until it is required.

Also included in the project are Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution (SSEPD), Dimplex, Smarter Grid Solutions, and the University of Strathclyde.

The Project is being funded through;

Hjaltland Housing Association, Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distrobution PLC and the European Regional Development Fund

About the heaters and tanks

Dimplex Quantum “energy store” heaters are being installed in 235 Hjaltland Housing Association homes. New hot water cylinders will also be installed in around 155 homes.

While the heaters allow SHEPD to better manage the electricity grid in the isles, from a tenants’ point of view they offer a more controllable and comfortable method of heating the home, and overcome some of the problems associated with traditional storage heaters.

Featuring the latest in storage heating technology and design, the new heaters benefit from improved controls and more insulation compared to traditional models. They can be set to a timer function which can be tailored to the user’s needs, and in this way can be controlled in a similar way to central heating.

This combination of improved controls and insulation means the potential for energy savings, and as a result better value for money heating.

An example heater is available view at HHA’s offices and members of the public are welcome to come and find out more. No appointment is necessary.
Alternatively more information on the heaters can be found at

Why was the project developed?

Shetland is not connected to the UK electricity grid, therefore all electricity generated must be produced and managed in Shetland.

Over 50 per cent of Shetlands power comes from the Lerwick Power Station (LPS) which is ageing, costly to run and polluting.

With a more robust electricity grid, the power generated from renewable sources could make more impact on the isles power needs, and reduce reliance on the power station, therefore making its replacement smaller and cheaper.

Find out more from SSE's short film below or visit their website ninessmartgrid


Following the success of the six home trial between 2011 & 2013 the Association commenced with the contract to upgrade 235 properties in July 2013 with completion achieved in December 2014.

FAQs for tenants

How will this affect my heating bills? It is anticipated that, with greater control available meaning the potential for less wasted heat, the new heaters and tanks could save up to 15 per cent on tenants’ current heating bills. This estimation is however based on current tariff charges and using the heaters efficiently.

How big are the heaters? The new models are very slightly wider than current Dimplex storage heaters, but will fit into the space occupied by your existing heaters.

Further information

The Association was successful in securing over £600,000 of European funding to assist in the costs of these upgrades with Hjaltland & SHEPD making up the remainder of the £1.5M project.

For more information on the project please contact the office on 01595 694986, or by email: