Green energy supplier Silvercrest Energy Ltd along with Social Energy, the utility supplier is launching a new project today to spur the development of a smart energy grid in southern England, working with electricity distributor UK Power Networks to enable around 100 homes to return stored energy back to the grid.
Energy customers participating in the programme will have a battery installed in their homes that will be used by the energy network to send extra power to the National grid at times of peak demand, as part of UK Power Networks’ flexibility services programme.
The project seeks to help deliver a smart grid which is better prepared for an anticipated increase in demand fuelled by zero carbon technologies like electric vehicles and electric heating, alongside the gird’s increased reliance on variable renewables.
The project will provide a glimpse into a future in which network operators buy ‘flexibility’ from companies like Silvercrest Energy who use a Social Energy artificial intelligence software, which will work with customers to balance supply and demand by using storage capacity to move demand up and down in response to levels of supply on the network. During specific periods, customer Home energy storage systems will also be available to discharge their stored energy, which will first be used to power the homeowners’ electrical appliances, with any extra being exported from the house to the grid.
Homeowners in parts of south London, Hertfordshire, and Kent will receive an annual payment of £125 for the next four years, totalling £500 in return for their participation in the project, this is alongside the extra returns a grid trading enabled home storage system already brings.
Homeowners here have an incredible opportunity to be part of this exciting project to move towards a smart grid – going green, saving money and supporting the future of energy.
Progress towards developing smart energy solutions was also made this week in the context of access to data, with south west-based electricity distributor Western Power Distribution releasing the first wave of electricity distribution network data gathered using an innovative approach known as the Common Information Model (CIM).
The CIM standardises network asset data sharing to make it more accessible, bringing together a huge range of datasets from different types of energy network infrastructure equipment, including transformers, circuit breakers, wires, and cables. The aim is to provide public access to key asset information, which stakeholders and researchers can draw on when developing smart energy technologies.
The company said low carbon technology developers could use the data to easily map WPD’s network for areas with the capacity for additional solar or wind generation, or to identify neighbourhoods which could benefit from additional flexibility through battery storage systems.
The CIM data released so far covers the South West, but plans are already in place to have the entire WPD network covered by the end of 2020, the firm said. Users will be able to access the data through WPD’s Data Hub.