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WPD updates EV strategy in bid to rollout 'industry-leading' charging solutions

Image: Getty.

Image: Getty.

Western Power Distribution (WPD) has released its updated EV strategy as it outlines measures to help support the rollout.

It is to develop new charging solutions for domestic customers by investing in a series of network improvement projects, it said, adding that where existing network architecture is “not best suited” for EV charging it will take steps to mitigate it.

Across 2020, it is to take a number of actions following on from previous and current trials. Most cited was its Electric Nation trial looking into how electric vehicle customers charge their vehicles at home, as well as their acceptance of smart charging.

As part of this trial, WPD also conducted a small vehicle-to-grid (V2G) trial. During 2020, it will build on the themes of the Electric Nation trial by developing the Electric Nation – PowerUp project, where it is to monitor around 100 V2G chargers.

The DNO also pointed to the Office for Low Emission Vehicles’ (OLEV) Project Rapid, which WPD is a participant in. Phase one saw 48 chargers installed at motorway service stations, with phase two set to see WPD target further EV installations.

It is also working with Moto Services on plans for a trial at one of its motorway service areas to deliver rapid charging using “new technology that requires significantly less space than current chargers”.

This year, it expects to amend design policies to standardise three phase service cables, as well as creating a design specification for bespoke charging transformer deployments following the completion of its hub charging project.

The DNO also pointed to fleet electrification, stating it envisions a number of possible solutions for depot charging, from requiring a large electricity supply to using off peak charging. WPD’s connects will vary on a case by case basis, it said, continuing that if there are a large number of vehicles requiring charging then it is likely to be similar in design to those for larger commercial buildings or factories.

WPD will also offer flexible solutions for fleets doing the majority of charging overnight.

In November 2019, the DNO unveiled a new tool as a part of its EV and low-carbon technology (LCT) monitoring service, partnering ElectraLink and IBM for the AI-based tool, which allows it to identify and monitor the status and distribution of EVs and LCT on its local, low voltage network.

This followed on from a project with the two that found 15,000 low carbon installs that were previously unknown to the DNO.

In its updated strategy, it said it is now endeavouring to start a second round of LCT detection with IBM and Electralink to "further enhance" its identification to include additional locations where notifications were not received.

It is then to use this clustering information to direct its "proactive reinforcement" of networks.

Paul Jewell, DSO development manager for WPD, said: “Over the next 12 months, our planned innovation projects will see the rollout of industry-leading charging solutions for both domestic and non-domestic settings.

“Our EV strategy shows we have the solutions to make EV charging quick and effective for customers.”

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