SSEN and UK Power Networks scan the Skyline to prepare for electric vehicles’ arrival


A new partnership, Skyline has launched to support the cost-effective transition to electric vehicles (EVs). Data from car dealerships, charge point operators and electricity networks is being shared and used to target investment and pave the way for the net zero carbon transport revolution.

The UK is seeing a significant growth in electric vehicles, which will also mean a considerable increase in electricity demand. Recent research commissioned by SSEN showed there could be an increase of 11,000% in the number of EVs on UK roads by 2050. Data analysts at UK Power Networks, which operates electricity networks in London, the South and East of England, forecast that the 99,000 EVs currently in its areas are due to rise to 3.6m by 2030.

Electricity network operators Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) and UK Power Networks are working together, in partnership with the Energy Innovation Centre (EIC), ElectraLink and CrowdCharge, to launch the Skyline project. It will enable them to pinpoint when and where new electricity demand to charge electric vehicles is coming from with unprecedented accuracy.

While charger installers routinely update the network operator when new charge points are installed, car dealerships were not previously involved in the data-sharing process.

The project will develop a new digital platform connected to a data-driven Application Planning Interface (API), which will allow multiple data sources to feed in data for early visibility of EV uptake, creating an automatically updated database.

Digital firm CrowdCharge will develop the computer platform and EV database for the project, and data-governance body ElectraLink will provide the API. The project will be developed in compliance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements.

Richard Hartshorn, EV Readiness Manager for SSEN said, “Project Skyline will allow us to be proactive through the EV transition, giving us timely insight into when and where new demand will emerge. We hope this will actively support the uptake of EVs in our licence areas.

“With over 11m customers between us, this partnership gives us a large bank of stakeholders to engage, which will deliver the best possible learnings on their preferred approaches to data sharing.”

Ian Cameron, head of customer services and innovation at UK Power Networks, said, “We’re forecasting a 36-fold increase in EVs over the next ten years. It’s critical that we do everything we can to facilitate that growth to pave the way for a Net Zero carbon emissions future.”

Project Skyline is a Network Innovation Allowance funded project worth over £810,000 that will run until June 2022. It is part of Ofgem’s innovation stimulus programme to tackle real challenges and unlock customer benefits.


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