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EDF to provide flexibility for WPD using cohort of Powervault batteries

Image: EDF/Powervault.

Image: EDF/Powervault.

Western Power Distribution (WPD) has awarded EDF a flexibility contract for Bridgwater in Somerset.

The supplier will use its Powershift platform to optimise a cohort of domestic Powervault batteries to provide flexibility to the local distribution network.

This will form one of the first cases of commercial domestic flexibility provision in the South West.

Joe Warren, CEO of Powervault, said the systems are now providing “vital grid services” that will help to transition the UK to a “smart and green electricity network".

“By working with EDF’s Powershift platform, we are unlocking the value of domestic electricity storage for the whole electricity system, as well as reducing customers’ electricity bills.

“Decarbonising electricity is key to reaching the UK’s 2050 net-zero carbon targets. Increasing the use of electricity to power our cars and heat our homes will help us achieve these targets, but doing so can add stress to the local energy network. Local grid flexibility services, using EDF’s Powershift platform and Powervault’s smart battery, are key to unlocking the value of renewables in the network.”

Last July, Powervault was one of the companies awarded a contract in UKPN’s flexibility tender on Piclo Flex, the first ever commercial auction on the platform.

EDF and Powervault partnered together in 2018, and have since installed hundreds of Powervault’s smart energy storage systems around the country.

Jean-Benoit Ritz, director of Innovation and Blue Lab at EDF, said: “As we continue our journey to net zero, it is critical that we deploy smart balancing services. Combining our Powershift platform with Powervault’s market-leading batteries perfectly demonstrates how these services can benefit both individual customers and the wider country.

“While the use of household batteries in this way is still relatively new, our hope is that the success of our work with Western Power Distribution will pave the way for similar projects to balance the grid as we transition towards a low carbon future.”

The agreement comes as part of WPD’s fourth procurement of flexibility services, awarding flexibility contracts totalling 94.8MW. There were 85 bids received by flex providers from across the 42 Constraint Management Zones identified by the network, with EDF successful in two bids.

Ben Godfrey, network strategy manager at WPD, said: “Moving towards net zero places new demands on the network. We’re working to find ways to spread this demand across the existing network.

“Flexibility is one solution that allows us to balance customer and network needs to the benefit of both. These technologies enable customers to save money without noticing.”

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