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UKPN launches digital portal to improve clean tech connection process

Image: UKPN.

Image: UKPN.

UK Power Networks (UKPN) has launched a new digital portal to help installers connect clean technologies to homes and businesses.

Smart Connect will let technology companies know instantly whether they can connect domestic electric vehicle (EV) chargers, heat pumps, storage or solar PV to the local electricity network.

The new portal will automatically refer customers if their electricity supply needs to be upgraded to manage the additional power, with installers also easily able to see the current status of multiple applications.

It therefore removes the need for multiple paper forms and streamlines the process, making it both quicker and easier.

It has been launched after collaboration with project partner Octopus Electric Vehicles, and has been informed by customer feedback on how the old process for domestic vehicle-to-grid projects was confusing and time-consuming.

Ian Cameron, head of customer service and innovation at UKPN, said that it is "critical" that faster, smarter ways to facilitate the connection of EVs to the network are found.

UKPN is currently forecasting that there could be up to 700,000 electric heat pumps and 4.5 million EVs connected to its networks by 2030.

The launch of its new portal comes as distribution network operators (DNOs) look increasingly towards digitalisation and the opening up of data. Earlier this month, UKPN announced a new real-time operational data platform, presenting live data on how power is flowing through the network and the type of generation.

Also this month, fellow DNO Western Power Distribution claimed an industry-first with the launch of its Beta Connected Data Portal, offering access to a range of data on energy consumption, generation, network loads and more.

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