EDF and Powervault win Western Power Distribution grid flexibility contract
- Batteries installed in the South West region will help provide flexibility to the local distribution network
- Batteries will be optimised through EDF’s Powershift platform
EDF has been awarded a contract by Western Power Distribution (WPD) to supply local grid flexibility services in the Bridgwater area using a cohort of domestic Powervault batteries.
EDF’s expertise, alongside Powervault’s smart energy storage systems, will give the distribution network operator access to demand flexibility for its network, without the need to install costly infrastructure upgrades.
With many years’ experience trading in the UK market, EDF is helping Britain achieve net zero through its industry-leading battery optimisation capabilities. Today’s news marks the latest phase in EDF and Powervault’s joint roll-out of smart batteries across the country, following the launch of their partnership in 2018. Collectively, hundreds of batteries that have been installed nationwide will help to support the grid, creating a smart and resilient energy network.
The domestic batteries will be optimised through EDF’s Powershift platform in one of the first cases of commercial domestic flexibility provision in the South West. This will both facilitate the country’s transition to a more efficient, low carbon energy infrastructure, and allow participating customers to save money by storing electricity at home from their solar panels or from the grid.
Joe Warren, CEO of Powervault, said: “Our Powervault systems are now providing vital grid services as we transition to a smart and green electricity network. By working with EDF’s Powershift platform, we are unlocking the value of domestic electricity storage for the whole electricity system, as well as reducing customers’ electricity bills.
“Decarbonising electricity is key to reaching the UK’s 2050 net-zero carbon targets. Increasing the use of electricity to power our cars and heat our homes will help us achieve these targets, but doing so can add stress to the local energy network. Local grid flexibility services, using EDF’s Powershift platform and Powervault’s smart battery, are key to unlocking the value of renewables in the network.”
Jean-Benoit Ritz, Director of Innovation and Blue Lab at EDF, said: “As we continue our journey to net zero, it is critical that we deploy smart balancing services. Combining our Powershift platform with Powervault’s market-leading batteries perfectly demonstrates how these services can benefit both individual customers and the wider country.
“While the use of household batteries in this way is still relatively new, our hope is that the success of our work with Western Power Distribution will pave the way for similar projects to balance the grid as we transition towards a low carbon future.”
The service will first be available for WPD to call on in the Bridgwater and Plymouth/South Hams area.
This contract marks the completion of WPD’s fourth procurement of flexibility services, awarding flexibility contracts totalling 94.8MW. 85 bids were received from flex providers across all 42 of the Constraint Management Zones with EDF successful in two bids.
Ben Godfrey, Network Strategy Manager at WPD, said: “Moving towards Net Zero places new demands on the network. We’re working to find ways to spread this demand across the existing network. Flexibility is one solution that allows us to balance customer and network needs to the benefit of both. These technologies enable customers to save money without noticing.”
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EDF is helping Britain achieve Net Zero by leading the transition to a cleaner, low emission electric future and tackling climate change. It is the UK’s largest producer of low-carbon electricity, meeting around one-fifth of the country’s demand and supplying millions of customers with electricity and gas.
It generates low carbon electricity from eight nuclear power stations, more than thirty onshore wind farms and two offshore wind farms, and operates one of Britain’s biggest battery storage units, one gas and one coal power station, EV charge-points, and combined heat and power plants.
EDF is leading the UK's nuclear renaissance with the construction of a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C, and plans for new power stations at Sizewell C in Suffolk and Bradwell B in Essex. Hinkley Point C will provide low carbon electricity to meet 7% of UK demand. The project is already making a positive impact on the local and national economy as well as boosting skills and education.
EDF also invests in a range of low carbon technologies including renewables, solar and battery storage. The company’s largest offshore wind farm is currently being built in Scotland and the 450 MW Neart na Gaoithe project will be ready in 2023. It is applying research and development expertise to improve the performance of existing generation and developing the potential of new technologies.
EDF is helping its customers, both in business and at home, take their first steps to sustainably powering their lives. Whether it is buying an electric car, generating and storing electricity or selling energy back to the grid. EDF is one of the largest suppliers to British business and a leading supplier of innovative energy solutions that are helping businesses become more energy independent. In addition, the company’s energy services business, Imtech, is one of the largest technical service providers in the UK and Ireland.
EDF is part of EDF Group, the world’s biggest electricity generator. In the UK, the company employs around 13,000 people at locations across England and Scotland.
Powervault is a British company on a mission to transform the green energy sector. They design, manufacture & install pioneering smart energy storage systems for the home and business. These store free solar energy and cheap electricity from the grid to reduce energy bills and increase energy efficiency.
About Western Power Distribution
Western Power Distribution (WPD) is responsible for delivering electricity to approximately 7.9 million customers in the UK and committed to investing around £1 billion on its network annually.
The distribution element makes up around 18% of an average customer’s annual bill which is around £100 a year or 27p a day.
Flexible Power is the customer facing brand created by WPD to deliver the procurement of flexibility services from businesses with the potential to shift demand away from peak periods or the ability to switch their consumption to on-site generation. It was first developed through a demand response trial funded through Ofgem’s NIA Incentive, WPD announced its decision to adopt the trial into business as usual in June 2018.