Flexitricity is to register the first domestic electric vehicle (EV) aggregated unit in the Balancing Mechanism (BM) thanks to a new partnership with ev.energy.
It will use ev.energy’s smart charging platform, which has over 10,000 EVs on it, and trade the flexibility within this as a Virtual Lead Party (VLP). Flexitricity became the first VLP to trade in the BM in April 2020, using its own demand response portfolio of largely battery storage assets.
Ev.energy’s app will allow EV owners to set a ‘ready by time’, fixing when they will need the car charged by. Then during the time the vehicle is plugged in, Flexitricity’s automated platform can work in unison with ev.energy’s to develop and deploy the optimal charging strategy.
This means that the EV battery’s flexibility can be used in the BM – charging when demand is at its lowest and generation is high – and still be fully charged for the ‘ready by time’.
Flexible charging like this will allow customers to save or even earn money, as well as Flexitricity gaining from trading the VLP in the BM. And by having access to more flexible capacity, National Grid ESO can more easily balance the grid.
The electrification of transport presents both a “huge opportunity for suppliers and customers and a challenge for networks” said Andy Lowe, chief commercial officer at Flexitricity.
“The partnership with ev.energy allows us to take a leap forward in demonstrating how flexible EV charging of the future will look like.” Additionally, it has the potential to “revolutionise the way the EV market operates” he continued, making a “significant impact on our 2050 net carbon zero targets".
Ev.energy is involved in a number of projects looking at the ability for EVs to provide flexibility to the grid, including Sustain-H, a project launched by Western Power Distribution that looks at turning up or down domestic electricity usage to provide flexibility.
In June 2020, ev.energy also won a tender for flexibility from UK Power Networks in what is the first time domestic EVs have won a commercial tender.
William Goldsmith, the company’s head of commercial & grid services, said: “With a rapidly growing 60MW capacity of EV load currently on our platform, ev.energy is in an excellent position to help balance the GB energy system.
“By partnering with Flexitricity we are able to offer energy suppliers an advanced trading service that reduces their cost, benefits the grid, the environment, and delivers better value to their customers.”