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UKPN's AI portal fast-tracks 10,000 EV charger grid connections in first year

The portal automatically approved 73% of more than 19,000 applications. Image: UK Power Networks.

The portal automatically approved 73% of more than 19,000 applications. Image: UK Power Networks.

A smart portal has fast-tracked connections for more than 10,000 electric vehicle (EV) chargers during its first year of operations, according to UK Power Networks (UKPN).

The electricity distribution network operator, which launched the Smart Connect system in February 2021, said the portal has slashed the notification time for installers from ten days to a few seconds across London, the south east and east of England.

As well as automatically approving 73% of more than 19,000 applications, the system has saved 6,000 working hours for staff at UKPN.

“It’s been amazing to see how much people have used our new portal already and proves we’re on the right track in finding ways to make the process smooth and speedy,” said Neil Madgwick, head of service delivery at UKPN.

As Current± reported earlier this year, Smart Connect uses artificial intelligence to process data about each household installation.

As well as processing EV charger applications, 5,000 residential solar systems, more than 900 electric heat pumps and 265 domestic batteries have been approved through Smart Connect.

The portal can also now accept applications for multiple low carbon technologies being installed at the same household, with more than 1,000 applications submitted using the new functionality, about half of which have been instantly approved.

Jodie McPherson, technical sales and compliance manager at renewables installer East Green Energy, said: “The introduction of Smart Connect has revolutionised the way DNO applications are able to be submitted and brought a much more efficient way of working into our industry.”

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