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15,000 ‘hidden’ low carbon installs identified on WPD’s network following unprecedented project

Solar installations.

Around 15,000 electric vehicles and solar installs previously unknown to Western Power Distribution’s (WPD) network have been identified following a landmark project.

The Low Carbon Technologies (LCT) Detection Project, funded by WPD and led by ElectraLink and computing giant IBM, analysed six years’ worth of data and used advanced analytics and machine learning to find indications of the devices connected to the DNO’s low voltage network.

The project’s findings are equivalent to there being 13% more households with EVs or solar panels on WPD’s network than the DNO previously thought.

ElectraLink said the revelation was “unprecedented” and paved the way for new concept models to be produced which could “hugely benefit the energy system” moving forward.

The project also provided some insight into the impact of low carbon technologies on domestic energy demand. Households with solar installs used 25% less electricity than those without, while EV charge points contributed to a 5% leap in power consumption.

Stuart Lacey, chief executive at ElectraLink, said the project had demonstrated “real value” through the use of the company’s dataset to support smarter, more flexible networks.

WPD’s DSO systems and project manager Roger Hey said the project was an example of how data and other intelligence is being used to drive innovation.


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