SP Energy Networks carries out EV turn-down event

SP Energy Networks carried out its first turn-down event with electric vehicles (EVs) through ev.energy’s EV Flex Virtual Power Plant (VPP).

The event resulted in 100kW of load reduction for an hour on the local network, enough to have offset the energy use of 100 homes. It saw EV charging paused for 112 participating ev.energy users across North and Mid Wales, Merseyside, Cheshire and North Shropshire to free up capacity on the grid – while ensuring participants were fully charged by their pre-set ready-by time in the ev.energy app.

Controlling demand has become a common tool for grid operators to optimise capacity, reducing the need for infrastructure upgrades while accommodating the growing demand from EV chargers, heat pumps and renewable generation.

Flexibility provides an agile and smart means of balancing the network alongside customer demand.

SP Energy Networks joins a growing list of innovative distribution system operators (DSOs) who are using ev.energy’s platform and EV driver network to defer infrastructure upgrades through automated charging technology. 

This event is the first of many planned, following a contract signed with SP Energy Networks last year to provide 22MW of flexibility services from ev.energy’s virtual power plant. Now, ev.energy will begin scaling up its flexible energy service throughout Central and Southern Scotland, North and Mid Wales, Merseyside, Cheshire, and North Shropshire. 

To date, ev.energy has facilitated over 2,200 similar events for DSO partners. ev.energy’s users also supported National Grid ESO’s Demand Flexibility Service in winter 2022/23.  

The number of consumers participating in energy flexibility services is rapidly increasing, with more than 35,000 EV drivers across the UK already using the ev.energy app to manage their charging.

EV drivers signed up to ev.energy can earn up to £30 in cash vouchers per year by enabling smart charging, participating in grid services, and contributing to a cleaner and more cost-effective power system.

William Goldsmith, Head of Grid Services at ev.energy, said: “EVs are well suited to provide energy flexibility services and we are delighted to begin scaling our partnership with SP Energy Networks to support the smart management of their network.

“A typical electric vehicle is plugged-in for 14 hours at a time, but only needs 2-3 hours of charging. This means that with clever software and a simple customer proposition, we can automatically schedule groups of EVs to charge at the cheapest, greenest times for that part of the network.”

Gerard Boyd, Head of Flexibility at SP Energy Networks said: “Following the success of our spring 2021 flexibility tender, we’re delighted to be moving forward with ev.energy on this new contract.

“Flexibility is fast becoming a critical part of our work to develop a smarter energy network, and having providers like ev.energy working with us is a clear sign that this emerging market presents fantastic opportunities to be a part of the energy transition.

“We’re proud to be leading the way in exploring a range of innovative flexibility-led solutions as we build the network of the future for our customers and communities.”

Image courtesy of SP Energy Networks

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