Ovo’s smart grid company Kaluza has sold its first batch of flexibility from aggregated household batteries to Western Power Distribution.
The batteries were automatically dispatched in response to signals from WPD’s control centre to reduce evening peaks in Lincolnshire over several weeks.
Kaluza said it represented a “milestone” for industry, demonstrating that smart homes – not just larger batteries and loads – can help balance power networks.
Kaluza believes that small scale batteries and electric vehicles will ultimately displace larger dedicated storage assets in providing flexibility services and is working to build out a portfolio of thousands of batteries, home heating units and electric vehicles.
Parent company Ovo has just bought SSE’s residential customer book, making it the second largest UK energy supplier, and it is working with Mitsubishi, which owns 20 per cent of the company, to open up further smart grid applications.
Kaluza head of flexibility, Conor Maher-McWilliams, said delivering commercial flexibility to WPD via household batteries “clearly demonstrates how domestic flexibility, alongside new innovative markets like WPD’s Flexible Power, can play a vital role in the transition to a smart, resilient grid”.
WPD network strategy manager, Ben Godfrey, said grid operators are under “acute pressure to find innovative ways to accommodate the UK’s growing electricity demand, without having to build larger networks”.
Last week Ofgem warned distribution network operators to better co-ordinate and standardise their attempts to procure flexibility solutions ahead of the next round of regulatory price controls.
“2020 is a big year in this space and we must achieve progress,” said Louise van Rensberg, interim deputy director, energy systems transition at Ofgem.
“At the end of the year, DNOs need to think about business plans,” said van Rensberg.
“You can’t build a business plan if you don’t know how you are going to value flexibility, or compare flexibility to other network solutions.”
WPD’s Ben Godfrey will outline the opportunity for business to help balance local grids and contribute to decarbonising the economy at The Energyst’s ‘Delivering Net Zero’ conference and exhibition, 22/23 April, Silverstone. It’s free to attend.