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InsightEDF and Powervault win Western Power Distribution grid flexibility contract

EDF has been awarded a contract by Western Power Distribution (WPD) to supply local grid flexibility services in the Bridgwater area using a cohort of domestic Powervault batteries.

EDF’s expertise, alongside Powervault’s smart energy storage systems, will give the distribution network operator access to demand flexibility for its network, without the need to install costly infrastructure upgrades.

With many years’ experience trading in the UK market, EDF is helping Britain achieve net zero through its industry-leading battery optimisation capabilities. Today’s news marks the latest phase in EDF and Powervault’s joint roll-out of smart batteries across the country, following the launch of their partnership in 2018. Collectively, hundreds of batteries that have been installed nationwide will help to support the grid, creating a smart and resilient energy network.

The domestic batteries will be optimised through EDF’s Powershift platform in one of the first cases of commercial domestic flexibility provision in the South West. This will both facilitate the country’s transition to a more efficient, low carbon energy infrastructure, and allow participating customers to save money by storing electricity at home from their solar panels or from the grid.

Joe Warren, CEO of Powervault, said: “Our Powervault systems are now providing vital grid services as we transition to a smart and green electricity network. By working with EDF’s Powershift platform, we are unlocking the value of domestic electricity storage for the whole electricity system, as well as reducing customers’ electricity bills.

“Decarbonising electricity is key to reaching the UK’s 2050 net-zero carbon targets. Increasing the use of electricity to power our cars and heat our homes will help us achieve these targets, but doing so can add stress to the local energy network. Local grid flexibility services, using EDF’s Powershift platform and Powervault’s smart battery, are key to unlocking the value of renewables in the network.”

Jean-Benoit Ritz, Director of Innovation and Blue Lab at EDF, said: “As we continue our journey to net zero, it is critical that we deploy smart balancing services. Combining our Powershift platform with Powervault’s market-leading batteries perfectly demonstrates how these services can benefit both individual customers and the wider country.

“While the use of household batteries in this way is still relatively new, our hope is that the success of our work with Western Power Distribution will pave the way for similar projects to balance the grid as we transition towards a low carbon future.”

The service will first be available for WPD to call on in the Bridgwater and Plymouth/South Hams area.

This contract marks the completion of WPD’s fourth procurement of flexibility services, awarding flexibility contracts totalling 94.8MW. 85 bids were received from flex providers across all 42 of the Constraint Management Zones with EDF successful in two bids.

Ben Godfrey, Network Strategy Manager at WPD, said: “Moving towards Net Zero places new demands on the network. We’re working to find ways to spread this demand across the existing network. Flexibility is one solution that allows us to balance customer and network needs to the benefit of both. These technologies enable customers to save money without noticing.”

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