UK Power Networks own and maintain electricity cables and lines across London, the South East and East of England making sure your lights stay on. UKPN maintain and upgrade power equipment to serve circa 8 million connected customers. UKPN operates 3 license areas; London Power Network, Eastern Power Network and Southern Power Network. For more information see: ukpowernetworks.co.uk
Powervaults store electricity in the home which is either generated for free by solar panels or taken from the grid at cheap, off peak times e.g. Economy 7 and Economy 10, for use when the household demands. Homeowners benefit from using cheaper, greener energy whenever they need it. But we believe this also delivers benefits to the network, by smoothing out supply and demand for electricity throughout the day. We hope that by quantifying these benefits we can generate new revenue streams for our customers in future.
Carbon Trust estimated that energy storage could save the UK £2.4bn/year by 2030, for example by better matching supply and demand throughout the day. That’s £50 per year on the average electricity bill. This supply and demand smoothing is vital as we generate a greater proportion of our electricity through intermittent renewable energy. For UKPN and other Distribution Network Operators (DNOs), electricity storage could offset the need for costly network reinforcements. However, these potential benefits need to be measured in the field, and that’s the purpose of this trial.
We want to help to quantify the benefits and identify any challenges from home electricity storage at the local distribution network level. Specifically we want to answer three questions:
1. What guidelines or regulations should be in place for connecting home electricity storage to the network?
2. How could electricity storage change the future forecasts for load growth and demand profiles? And therefore how should UKPN (and other DNOs) alter investment plans in network reinforcement?
3. What could the benefits to the local distribution network be from controlling electricity storage devices to actively manage supply and demand (known as Demand Side Response)?
Powervault has teamed up with players across the industry to install 60 electricity storage devices, both Powervaults and competitor systems. These will then be monitored for a period of 1 year. We’ll be working with independent academics based at Imperial College London to ensure that the analysis is carried out objectively and to answer the three key questions above.
If you’re a Solar PV owner, thinking of installing electricity storage by the end of 2016 and would consider being part of the trial please get in touch via: firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re offering a free install (worth about £400) to anyone willing to allow us to monitor their system for one year.
1. Living within the UKPN distribution network area – Check if we cover your area here.
2. You must be an existing Solar PV owner or be having an install before Dec 2016
3. You must purchase a Powervault, Sonnen or another DC connected electricity storage system before the end Jan 2017 or be an existing Powervault, Sonnen or DC connected system user
4. You must agree to our detailed Terms and Conditions
5. You must have internet within your home and be willing to keep the energy storage device and monitoring equipment connected for the duration of the trial. Note that esimtated broadband useage per day through the monitoring equipment is 180MB/month, the device will only connect to the internet once per day during the night.
6. Your your electricity meter and your solar panel connection must be based within (not outside) your house to enable connection of the monitoring devices
7. Three small (shoe box size) monitoring devices must be plugged in for the duration of the trial with a standard three pin plug socket – installers may need to visit your home to check the feasibility of the set up of the monitoring devices.
We’re deploying the systems over the next few months and will then spend 2017 collecting data. Please check back regularly for updates on how the trial is going and preliminary findings.