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InsightThe P.E.T.E. project: power, energy, technology, efficiency

Working closely together, Upside, Powervault and Mixergy 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 consortium also includes The Eden Project who will identify households to participate, and The University of Oxford will be overseeing the trial.

Dr Graham Oakes, Upside Energy Founder and Chief Scientist said:

The P.e.t.e. Project is a fantastic opportunity. If we’re going to decarbonise energy, it’s not enough to address electricity — we need to address heat too. By looking at how best to integrate thermal storage as well as batteries, P.e.t.e. helps place Upside right at the heart of the energy system. By intelligently balancing these very different storage systems, we can create extra value for everyone.

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 Powervault’s storage devices and Mixergy’s hot water tanks, 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 P.e.t.e. Project will install 500 intelligent hot water tanks and 100 lithium-ion Powervault 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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