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Social Energy teams up with UKPN to create smart grid from domestic batteries

Image: Social Energy.

Image: Social Energy.

Social Energy has teamed up with UK Power Networks (UKPN) to develop a smart grid, offering customers batteries as part of a new trial.

Initially around 100 homes in London, the South East and East of England will have batteries installed that can then be used by the supplier to provide extra power to the electricity network when needed. This will form part of UKPN’s flexibility services programme, helping to prepare the network for the additional demand expected as people turn to electric vehicles and heating for decarbonisation.

The batteries will help customers maximise their solar energy usage, as well as providing flexibility to the system, making it more resilient and saving money for customers as such smart grids can help avoid the cost of managing constraints by having to put more copper in the ground.

Specific time periods will be identified within which customer batteries will be available to discharge if instructed. Electricity will be initially used to power the homes themselves, before anything extra is exported to the grid.

The households taking part across areas of South London, Hertfordshire and Kent will receive £125 a year over the next four years for their role in the project.

Steve Day, chief technology officer at Social Energy, said the company was “delighted” to be working with UKPN to help transform energy for people in the region.

“Homeowners here have an incredible opportunity to be part of this exciting project to move towards a smart grid – going green, saving money and supporting the future of energy.”

UKPN has worked with Social Energy to develop flexibility solutions before, including announcing a virtual power plant project together in February that will use domestic batteries and solar panels to provide a total of 2.1MW of capacity up to 2023/24.

In June, UKPN further grew its flexibility through the largest tender in the UK ever, which saw £14 million worth of contracts signed, amounting to 123MW of flexibility power.


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