ev.energy Receives Grant from Innovate UK to Scale the UK's first Virtual Power Plant Using Only Electric Vehicles

February 14, 2022
ev.energy Media Team

LONDON, Feb. 14, 2022 – ev.energy, a global software provider of managed electric vehicle (EV) charging, has received funding to scale the UK’s first commercially operating Virtual Power Plant (VPP) using only electric vehicles. This funding comes after ev.energy became the first software platform to successfully demonstrate commercially shifting energy consumption from the power grid using only electric vehicles. ev.energy has been awarded an additional £295K, totalling £754K, in funding from Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation’s Prospering from the Energy Revolution programme. The funding will help ev.energy scale its VPP to stabilise the UK power grid and UK energy systems as it adopts EVs and moves away from fossil fuels. The Energy Savings Trust predicts there will be between 8 and 11 million EVs on UK roads by 2030.

Virtual Power Plant shifts energy demand from electric vehicles to off peak hours

ev.energy has received funding from Innovate UK to scale the UK’s first commercially operating Virtual Power Plant (VPP) using only electric vehicles

On 1st December 2021, ev.energy’s partner, UK Power Networks, the electricity distribution network for London, the South East, and East of England, issued its first commercial dispatch instructions for ev.energy to reduce electricity demand. ev.energy’s Virtual Power Plant automatically responded to these signals by pausing electric vehicle charging in areas of Norfolk and Essex where the grid was congested. Between 5 pm and 6:30 pm, power consumption from EV charging was reduced by 90% compared to the unmanaged baseline, alleviating strain on the grid.

“While these localised Virtual Power Plants are currently small in scale, they demonstrate the significant potential that can be unlocked from smart charging as the number of electric vehicles increases,” said Sotiris Georgiopoulos, Head of Smart Grid Development at UK Power Networks. “By using apps like ev.energy, smart charging can make electric vehicles part of the solution for a clean, reliable and affordable electricity grid that benefits everyone.”

In return for helping to balance the grid, EV drivers using ev.energy’s smart-charging algorithm, earn reward points worth up to £60 per year in retail vouchers or can choose to offset their carbon emissions from charging.

“This is a significant milestone for domestic flexibility that builds on the ‘Shift’ innovation project and winning our first commercial tender with UKPN back in 2020,” said William Goldsmith, ev.energy’s Head of Grid Services. “UKPN has always been great to work with, and we hope to share our technology with the support of Innovate UK’s funding to support other utilities, charger manufacturers, and the wider industry in the UK and around the world.”

Damien Kelly, Innovation Lead at Innovate UK, said, “Localised systems to balance electricity demand, storage and supply are likely to play a vital role in helping the UK get to net zero. Innovative services using electric vehicles to provide flexibility to the grid have great potential and we look forward to supporting the scale-up and wider demonstration of ev.energy’s Maximising Grid Services project.”

About ev.energy
ev.energy’s mission is simple: to make EV charging easier, greener, and cheaper. Our software intelligently manages EV charging on behalf of utilities for over 35,000 drivers worldwide. Operating in the US, UK, Europe and Australia, ev.energy offers a software platform that directly manages charging with a growing list of home chargers and vehicles.

About UK Power Networks
UK Power Networks is a distribution network operator for electricity covering South East England, the East of England and London, United Kingdom. It manages three licensed distribution networks which together cover an area of 30,000 square kilometres and approximately eight million customers.

About Innovate UK
Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), is the UK’s innovation agency. Innovate UK delivers the Prospering from the Energy Revolution challenge programme on behalf of UKRI. The programme is investing around £104m in projects to trial and demonstrate the potential of smart local energy systems around the UK, and to show how such systems can be part of a better net zero future.

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