Kaluza, Ovo’s offshoot developing intelligent energy platforms, is teaming up with aggregator Flexitricity to provide a new service in grid flexibility, expanding near-home level access to the UK’s balancing mechanism.
Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) services, EV smart chargers and utility-scale amp hotels are at front and centre of the duo’s thinking.
Billed as a UK first, the pair’s proposition launched this month seeks to boost much needed demand-side response for the UK grid, helping to ease constraints that have pushed prices recently as high as £4,000 per MWh in the balancing mechanism.
EVs’ potential for energy storage and powering in-home devices has attracted interest from countless innovators. Kaluza and Flexitricity say their USP is in providing resource value in grid balancing, capable of scaling to millions of ‘internet-of-things’ devices.
Under the partnership’s plan, domestic customers on half-hourly settlement linked to EVs or batteries can now participate in the Balancing Mechanism, earning cash through cheaper rates and lower bills.
The pair see widened market participation by home-scale players as in line with National Grid ESO’s recent changes, accommodating smaller, more agile energy assets to contribute to balancing. Creating more dynamic DSR – and its necessary reward mechanisms – as essential to achieving an affordable Net Zero.
The new offering addresses, the pair says, several key priorities outlined in Ofgem’s recent report on the transition to electric vehicles. These are designed to ensure the nation’s cables are prepared for bi-directionality and mass uptake of EVs.
Kaluza’s platform already accommodates smart chargers, V2G chargers and domestic storage batteries. Operating already on local networks, it is now expanded to nationwide trades.
The USP of Kaluza’s platform is enabling management of half-hourly settlement of micro-kit such as freezers and device chargers via its retail partners. Its AI software leverages real-time data from wholesale energy prices, supply levels and the weather to optimise connected devices to charge at the cheapest and greenest times while meeting customer needs.
Experienced in Balancing Mechanism operations, Flexitricity was the first UK aggregator to become a Virtual Lead Party (VLP), the NG-ESO’s new route to the mechanism. The collaboration enables faster scaling of flexibility and simplified registration and configuring of kit.
“Today, industrial batteries provide the majority of our system’s flexibility while the storage potential of millions of smart devices in homes goes untouched”, Kaluza’s sustainability and policy director Marzia Zafar observed.
“This partnership is an important milestone, enabling end customers to play a role in a greener, cheaper and more resilient energy system, and be rewarded for it”
Andy Lowe, Flexitricity’s chief commercial officer commented, “Electrification of transport presents both a huge opportunity for suppliers and customers and a challenge for networks. The partnership with Kaluza allows us to take a leap forward in demonstrating what flexible EV charging can deliver to help balance the electricity system”.