‘Urban Energy Club’ reaches milestone with new battery at Elmore House
A group of Brixton neighbours have trialled a first of its kind smart local flexible energy market, after a new battery was installed alongside existing solar panels at their block of flats.
The ‘Urban Energy Club’ project recently advanced to offering simulated ‘flexibility services’ to the distribution network after a 10kW/20kWh battery system was connected to the pre-existing 37kWh solar PV system installed on the roof of their building.
A three-month live trial has seen residents get involved in the emerging digital energy world, by offering simulated flexible power services from the new battery to respond to supply and demand in the area. By generating electricity and storing it for later, the system can flexibly respond to signals from the electricity network, with residents saving money on their bills for providing the service.
Residents of Elmore House in Brixton, South London are participating in the ‘Urban Energy Club’ project, an innovation trial run by UK Power Networks (UKPN), EDF and community energy group Repowering London.
Through the trial, residents saved around £7.50 on their monthly electricity bills* from using the solar energy as well as providing these flexibility services to UK Power Networks. The solar energy produced also helped provide, on average, 42% of household electricity*.
The installation of the battery and the introduction of flexible power services are the latest milestones in the second phase of the project, which already enables residents to trade electricity generated from a solar panel system on the roof with one another (peer-to-peer) using blockchain technology.
Speaking on the benefits she’s seen so far, Shirley Wynter, an Elmore House resident involved in the project, said: “Improving my carbon footprint is really important to me, so to be able to be involved in this trial makes me feel like I am doing my bit for the environment, whilst saving me money each month. I like the way I receive the top up rebates rather than just a discount, and if I have any solar electricity leftover, I can share it with my neighbours, and they can share it with me.”
Commenting on the updates from the project, Rebecca Rosling, Head of Smart Customers at EDF R&D UK Centre, said: “EDF is delighted that our customers in Elmore House are now able to contribute to balancing the system with the battery. The project demonstrates not only how densely populated areas can access renewable energy at a lower cost, but also how the power network can benefit from our renewable assets as well. As Britain’s biggest generator of zero carbon electricity, EDF is excited to see the advancements on this project as we move towards the countries’ Net Zero targets.”
Ian Cameron, head of customer services and innovation at UK Power Networks, said: “We are really excited that the residents of Elmore house will be now be able to get involved in renewable energy management for the very first time. The results of this project will shape our future approach, and ultimately our aim is to make sure that everyone, no matter their situation, can benefit from the energy revolution.”
Felix Wight, Technical Director at Repowering London, added: “We are delighted to have helped a wider range of Londoners to participate in the transition to low carbon energy system. We would like to thank all the residents that have participated, as well as Loughborough Estate Management Board and Lambeth Council for giving permission for the project to go ahead.”
*data correct as of March 2021
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EDF Media Team
Notes to Editors
EDF is helping Britain achieve Net Zero by leading the transition to a cleaner, low emission electric future and tackling climate change. We are Britain’s biggest generator of zero carbon electricity, meeting around one-fifth of the country’s demand and supplying millions of customers with electricity and gas.
With around 5 million accounts, EDF is one of the largest suppliers to British homes and businesses and a leading supplier of innovative energy solutions that are helping businesses become more energy independent. All of our home customers get energy tariffs backed by zero carbon electricity as standard.
We generate low carbon electricity from eight nuclear power stations, more than thirty onshore wind farms and two offshore wind farms, and operate one of Britain’s biggest battery storage units, one gas and one coal power station, thousands of EV charge-points, and combined heat and power plants. Wind, nuclear and solar all produce electricity that is zero carbon at the point of generation and have similar emissions over the build, run and retire lifecycles.
EDF is leading the UK's nuclear renaissance with the construction of a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C, and is leading the development of plans for a replica at Sizewell C in Suffolk. Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C will provide low carbon electricity to meet 14% of UK demand and power around 12 million homes.
EDF is one of the UK’s largest investors in renewables, with 1GW of renewable generation in operation and over 4GW in construction, planning and development across a range of technologies including onshore and offshore wind, solar and battery storage. We are constructing our largest offshore wind farm in Britain – the 450 MW Neart na Gaoithe project in Scotland which will be ready in 2023.
Our 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 we employ around 13,000 people.
UK Power Networks is the country’s biggest electricity distributor, making sure the lights stay on for more than eight million homes and businesses across London, the South East and the East of England.
Network operators aren’t the same as energy suppliers; network operators manage local power lines and substations, while energy suppliers sell the electricity that runs through the power lines.
UK Power Networks continues to be listed in the Sunday Times’ Top 25 Best Big Companies to Work For, and made industry history by becoming first company to win Utility of the Year two years running (2015 and 2016, also 2012).
The company invests more than £600 million in its electricity networks every year, offers extra help to vulnerable customers at times of need, and is undertaking trials to ensure that electricity networks support the transition to a low carbon future. It also moves cables and connects new electricity supplies. If you have a power cut ring 105, see www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk or tweet us @UKPowerNetworks
About Repowering London
Repowering London specialises in co-producing community energy programmes with community groups and Local Authorities. We support communities to deliver, own and manage renewable energy projects that provide benefits to the citizens that surround them. We are a community benefit society with a team of dedicated employees working collaboratively alongside passionate volunteers. For more information please visit: www.repowering.org.uk