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InsightPowervault to help balance National Grid supply and demand in exciting new trial, The Pete Project

Solar storage company Powervault is undertaking an exciting project with a consortium of sustainable energy companies to use intelligent storage as a demand side response for mechanism. The trial, which began in July, looks to demonstrate the potential for individuals to provide a balancing service to the power industry and improve energy efficiency in the home.

The £2.5m project, supported by BEIS and Innovate UK, will bring together the technologies of Powervault, Mixergy, and Upside. Together they will develop an integrated system using home battery systems, intelligent hot water tanks,  and cloud Demand Side Response Services to provide a balancing service to the power industry. The Eden Project will be identifying households to participate, and The University of Oxford will be overseeing the trial.

Pressures and constraints on the National Grid and distribution network operators often end up causing congestion in power supplies, which the project will be able to reduce. In order for power to be supplied to homes across the country 24/7, the National Grid must balance supply with demand – a tricky and detailed task. In offering storage technologies to be turned on or off when the grid needs to off-load excess electricity or needs more on the lines, The Pete Project aims to assist the National Grid with this operation. The project will also help distribution network operators responsible for delivering power locally with constraints on the network, such as charging or heating when the renewable electricity generation is high and not needed elsewhere.

Through the aggregation of domestic storage devices, the project will be able to offer 1MW of capacity to the National Grid. When there is too much power, the batteries and hot water tanks will charge/heat; when there is too little, the batteries can provide power to the grid and the hot water tanks will stop heating.

The Pete Project will install 500 intelligent hot water tanks and 100 lithium-ion batteries in households across Cornwall and London before July 2019, with the intention of installing 50 batteries before the end of 2017. The project aims to demonstrate a new method to reduce CO2 emissions, generate fresh revenue streams for individuals, and improve energy usage, with various sustainable technologies working together as a group to balance the electricity grid.

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