Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution has launched a new trial to help ease the rollout of low carbon technologies (LCTs) on its network.
The Customer-Led Electric VEhicle Registration (CLEVER) project is designed to facilitate conversation between LCT owners – such as electric vehicle (EV) and heat pump owners – and networks.
As people increasingly transition to electrified solutions to help reduce emissions, the demand is increasing dramatically and is expected to nearly triple by 2050.
In SSEN’s two operating areas it is expecting there to be nearly 6 million EVs by the middle of the century, and 3.3 million heat pumps. To help manage this, distribution network operators (DNOs) are increasingly looking for ways to increase flexibility and reinforce their operations.
CLEVER will improve the dialogue between LCT owners and DNOs, helping to map out the data network operators need and the data customers are willing and able to provide. It will explore ways to increase the visibility of LCTs and measures that could guard against data loss.
For example, ensuring if a customer moves house, buys a second EV or changes the capacity of their heat pump, the data on what’s connected to the network isn’t lost.
Better visibility of LCTs will allow the DNOs to make more informed investment in grid reinforcement, or allow them to defer in favour of flexibility measures, instead shifting demand. Learnings from the project will also be explored to see how vulnerable customers can be supported
CLEVER is designed to improve the data available to DNOs, allowing them to make cost-effective decisions whilst improving network performance.
“We all know that two heads are better than one. With the CLEVER project, we are asking to put our heads together with those customers who have already made the switch to an EV or installed a heat pump, so we can test their appetite to share data about when and where they use our network. Taking a customer-led approach recognises that good data sharing is dependent on cooperation and transparency,” said Fraser MacIntyre, project manager for CLEVER at SSEN.
“Better visibility of new technologies will put SSEN in the best possible position to support the widespread roll-out of LCTs to all customers, ensuring no person or community is excluded from the net zero transition. We hope this project will deliver CLEVER outcomes that benefit everybody.”
This is the latest trial from SSEN that looks to smooth the transition to EVs in particular, such as the Optimise Prime trial which looked at using EV fleets for flexibility. In March, the DNO also called for a smart and fair EV transition, publishing the Equal EV report.
SSEN published an action plan to help accelerate the inclusion of Distribution System Operator services in its network operations earlier this year, emphasising the importance of flexibility as demand on the network grows.