As a provider of critical national infrastructure, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks – Distribution (SSEN-D) play a critical role in the delivery of Britain’s 10-point plan and Net Zero strategy that will accelerate the electrification of heat and transport. Local authorities across Great Britain have declared climate emergencies and some, such as Greater London Authority (GLA), have set ambitious targets to achieve Net Zero by 2030.
As decarbonisation progresses, we face a challenge, across our network, in facilitating the required rate of Low Carbon Technology (LCT) connections in both new and existing homes. This is currently the case in West London where development of new housing or large-scale heat pump retrofits face delays out to 2035, whilst awaiting resolution of transmission level constraints. Networks must find solutions that will accelerate the domestic connections in constrained area to avoid delays for customers wanting to connect or upgrade their supply and avoid slowdown of NetZero transition.
SSEN-D, with project partners E.ON and Baringa, will develop and test a way of managing peak demand of residential developments, in real time (I.e., without predefined schedules), creating more headroom on the network in order to connect more properties in constrained areas. A dynamic connections product is a technical solution that will manage individual LCT devices to ensure the peak demand stays within the network capacity limits. It can provide a secure and reliable means for all new demand to connect more quickly, without the end users being inconvenienced.
In the Discovery phase we will explore how dynamic connections products can be implemented quickly within new and existing residential developments, in areas with capacity constraints.
The Discovery project will:
SIF Innovation Challenge 3: Improving energy system resilience and robustness invites applications that look at strengthening whole system resilience and robustness to achieve Net Zero securely.
Unprecedented growth in LCT connections such as Photovoltaic solar panels (PVs), Heat Pumps (HP) and Electric Vehicles (EVs), is triggering network constraints that may continue to increase as the uptake of LCTs gathers speed. Not being able to connect this demand quickly could delay the transition to Net Zero.
Theme: Accelerating the uptake of LCTs at residential level, both in new large housing or in large scale retrofits where network constraints would otherwise prevent connection.
Scope: This project will develop technical, regulatory and commercial models to enable implementation of connections solutions for dynamically managed demand schemes, that can connect increasing LCT demands in constrained areas within network limits, without compromising customer needs.
The project will define technical requirements and specification for real time load management systems and explore the role of flexibility management platforms available today to control end point devices, such as EV chargers, HP and Solar PV.
The project will focus on developing a scalable, integrated approach by combining residential flexibility with automated control to manage constraints locally. The project will also explore potential for new products and services such as LV resilience and peer-to-peer trading behind network constraints.
SSEN-D: As project Lead, SSEN-D bring extensive network knowledge and experience in network planning, connections and power flow analysis that will help to define the rules for site identification and implementation of the solution.
E.ON: Acting as a technology supplier, will bring their Dynamix product, one of the potential technical solutions that can enable dynamic connections. They also bring experience in gathering consumer insights and developing and delivering energy efficiency solutions.
Baringa: Bring an extensive track record of working on regulated energy market projects, experience of conducting economic analysis and calculating Social Return on Investment (SROI). They have extensive experience in innovation trials and Business as Usual (BAU) deployment of new connections products and solutions.
UKPN: While not a project partner, UKPN will provide objective oversight of the project and challenge assumptions, along with the experience of addressing similar challenges to ensure this project has relevance for all DNOs.
Who this will benefit: Housing developers, local governments and housing associations will benefit from quicker speed of connection, customers will benefit from reduced energy bills.
2-month project – Starting 1st April 2023