UK Power Networks (UKPN) is to trial smart charging across 1,000 EVs, using OVO Group’s smart energy platform, Kaluza, for 300 of these.
The ‘Shift’ trial will investigate the scalability and cost saving potential of smart charging for grid operators and customers. The Kaluza platform will combine real-time pricing signals from UKPN with time-of-use data to dynamically control car charging patterns and reduce demand peaks.
Recruitment for the Kaluza section of trial will start in August and chargers will be available through ChargedEV and OVO Energy. UKPN is also partnering with Octopus Energy and Pod Point to explore the different business models and market mechanisms to deliver benefits from smart charging.
Conor Maher-McWilliams, head of flexibility at Kaluza, said: “The boom in electric cars will create a whole new layer of grid complexity, so taking intelligent control of charging will be vital. Technology that joins the dots between home devices and the local grid paves the way for an agile, zero carbon energy system that works for everyone.”
UKPN announced plans to launch trials into the requirements of a smart charging market earlier in the year, commissioning research to inform how network operators could avoid increases in peak demand by incentivising charging outside of peak demand.
Ian Cameron, head of innovation at UKPN, said smart charger optimisation has a “significant role” to play in supporting the country’s energy network, with the new trial helping UKPN to “gauge the potential of innovations” such as Kaluza’s.