VPP Combines Energy from Residences, Commercial Properties, and Transport Infrastructure

April 08, 2019 by Scott McMahan

Flexitricity plans to deliver a leading-edge demonstrator project that the company hopes will jump-start the energy revolution. The Smart Hub SLES project will take place in West Sussex. The project's goal is to integrate energy management across council housing, private residential properties, commercial properties, and transport infrastructure. The first of its kind project is expected to translate to greener and cheaper energy for local communities.

The proposed project will deploy several innovative technologies, including a hybrid hydrogen/electric vehicle filling station and mesh networks for power management, alongside more established but not widely adopted technologies including heat networks.

Flexitricity will establish a virtual power plant with the aid of its demand-response expertise. The virtual power plant (VPP) will dynamically monitor and respond to energy demand and generation.

The project will also involve designing a platform, which could be widely replicated, and enabling public sector organizations to adopt flexible energy assets and participate in local, flexible energy markets.

Advanced Infrastructure will lead the project, with additional partners including Connected Energy, ITM Power, Honda Motor Europe, ICAX, Moixa Technology, Switch2 Energy, and Passiv- Systems as well as the Carbon and Energy Fund and West Sussex County Council.

The project is one of four UK smart energy systems demonstrator projects that Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry has announced. The demonstrator is expected to show how businesses can use local clean energy strategies at scale that can create better outcomes for consumers and promote economic growth for the UK.

By bringing together the best expertise and research, the initiative intends to transform the way energy is delivered and used, while proving that smarter local energy systems can deliver cleaner and cheaper energy services.

UK Research and Innovation, the new organization that brings together the UK Research Councils, Innovate UK and Research England awarded the funding for the project via a competitive proposal process.

Flexitricity says that it has pioneered the demand-response electric utility industry, generating over £20million for its energy partners since its launch in 2004. It is also the first supplier in the UK to offer active participation in the Balancing Mechanism for demand response assets.

"We are very excited to be working on this exciting project which will bring further momentum to the energy revolution," Neil Oloughlin, project leader at Flexitricity, said. "Flexible energy will be an essential element of the UK's energy mix when carbon generation falls off the grid by the mid-2020s."

"There is a huge opportunity for local community generation projects to create sustainable revenue streams and take advantage of the National Grid's need for flexible power," Neil Oloughlin added. "From this perspective, we can't wait to get started on the demonstrator project which will aim to create an intelligent local energy system that has the potential to re-energize and bring investment to communities across the UK."