SMS has been awarded a new contract through the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero as part of a consortium aiming to establish new ways of achieving domestic flexibility. 

Funded by the Government’s Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, the project – which sees SMS partner with Engage Consulting and Nederlands Meet Institute (NMi) – will deliver laboratory testing schemes for Interoperable Demand Side Response (IDSR) applications. This includes behind-the-meter Energy Smart Appliances (ESAs) such as electric vehicle chargers, batteries, white goods, and heating systems.

Unlocking the domestic demand-side response market is a key enabler of the UK’s transition to a secure, flexible energy system and the Government’s wider ambition to reach Net Zero by 2050. The next stage of this transition will involve a massive increase of distributed renewable energy generated and stored by homes and businesses up and down the country, with an estimated 30GW of low carbon flexible assets in total to be deployed across the grid by 2030 (representing a three-fold increase on today’s levels1).

Mark Hamilton, managing director of FlexiGrid, at SMS, said, “To accommodate the shift to a distributed renewable energy system, flexibility will be required from many different sources, but will increasingly need to come from domestic behind-the-meter ESAs like EV chargers, heat pumps, storage heating, and battery storage. However, this will require new levels of control and standards to be introduced to allow assets to be aggregated and operated as a Virtual Power Plant (VPP), and this is ultimately what we hope to achieve through this new programme.”

As part of the project, SMS – which is an approved provider of National Grid ESO’s Demand Flexibility Service for the domestic and non-domestic markets – will develop a new version of its FlexiGrid aggregation platform to test ESAs against new Interoperable Demand Side Response (IDSR) applications. The energy infrastructure company will also expand its existing smart metering test facilities to accommodate the testing of ESAs in mock domestic settings.

Engage, which will manage the project and drive the overall technical solution, and NMI, which will design and develop the testing schemes and provide test execution assurance, complete the consortium of project partners.

1 Source: Transitioning to a net zero energy system: Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan 2021 (BEIS & Ofgem)


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