SP Energy Networks and ev.energy Power Up Grid Resilience with EV Turn-Down Event

August 30, 2023
ev.energy Media Team

  • SP Energy Networks used ev.energy’s EV Flex VPP to turndown 100kW of EV demand in North and Mid Wales, Merseyside, Cheshire and North Shropshire for 1 hour
  • ev.energy will scale up its flexible energy service for SP Energy Networks across Scotland, North and Mid Wales, Merseyside, Cheshire, and North Shropshire

LONDON, UK, 23 AUGUST 2023 - SP Energy Networks carried out its first turn-down event with electric vehicles (EVs) via ev.energy’s EV Flex Virtual Power Plant (VPP). The event resulted in 100kW of load reduction for an hour on the local network - enough to have offset the energy use of 100 homes. 

The event saw EV charging paused for 112 participating ev.energy users across North and Mid Wales, Merseyside, Cheshire and North Shropshire to free up capacity on the grid, while ensuring that all participants were fully charged by their pre-set ready-by time in the ev.energy app.

Controlling demand like this is becoming a common tool for grid operators to optimise capacity, reducing the need for infrastructure upgrades while accommodating the growing demand from EV chargers, heat pumps and renewable generation. Flexibility provides an agile and smart means of balancing the network alongside customer demand.

SP Energy Networks joins a growing list of innovative distribution system operators (DSOs) who are using ev.energy’s platform and EV driver network to defer infrastructure upgrades through automated charging technology. 

This event is the first of many, following a contract signed with SP Energy Networks last year to provide 22MW of flexibility services from ev.energy's virtual power plant. Buoyed by the successful event, ev.energy will begin scaling up its flexible energy service throughout Central and Southern Scotland, North and Mid Wales, Merseyside, Cheshire, and North Shropshire. 

Since its first commercial dispatch instructions from UK Power Networks in December 2021 and National Grid Electricity Distribution in November 2022, ev.energy has facilitated over 2,200 similar events for DSO partners. ev.energy’s users also supported National Grid ESO’s Demand Flexibility Service in winter 2022/23.  

The number of consumers participating in energy flexibility services is rapidly increasing, with more than 35,000 EV drivers across the UK already using the ev.energy app to manage their charging. EV drivers signed up to ev.energy can earn up to £30 in cash vouchers per year by enabling smart charging, participating in grid services, and contributing to a cleaner and more cost-effective power system.

William Goldsmith, Head of Grid Services at ev.energy, said: “EVs are well suited to provide energy flexibility services and we are delighted to begin scaling our partnership with SP Energy Networks to support the smart management of their network.

“A typical electric vehicle is plugged-in for 14 hours at a time, but only needs 2-3 hours of charging. This means that with clever software and a simple customer proposition, we can automatically schedule groups of EVs to charge at the cheapest, greenest times for that part of the network.

Gerard Boyd, Head of Flexibility at SP Energy Networks said: “Following the success of our spring 2021 flexibility tender, we’re delighted to be moving forward with ev.energy on this new contract.

“Flexibility is fast becoming a critical part of our work to develop a smarter energy network, and having providers like ev.energy working with us is a clear sign that this emerging market presents fantastic opportunities to be a part of the energy transition.

“We’re proud to be leading the way in exploring a range of innovative flexibility-led solutions as we build the network of the future for our customers and communities.”

ev.energy became the first software platform to successfully demonstrate commercially shifting energy consumption from the power grid using only electric vehicles in December 2019. After receiving £754k in funding from Innovate UK as part of UK Research and Innovation’s Prospering from the Energy Revolution programme, ev.energy has scaled its virtual power plant which is now supporting more than 40 utility companies across the UK, North America, Europe, and Australia. 

About ev.energy

ev.energy is a Certified B Corporation® with a mission to make EV charging greener, cheaper, and smarter for utilities and their customers. Its end-to-end software platform wirelessly connects to a range of electric vehicles and chargers to intelligently manage EV charging while working with utilities to put cash back in customers' wallets for charging at grid-friendly times. With a global base of utility, vehicle OEM and EVSE partners, ev.energy manages more than 120,000 EVs on its platform each day. Learn more at https://ev.energy/business.

About SP Energy Networks

SP Energy Networks own and operate the electricity distribution network in Central and Southern Scotland (SP Distribution network), and in North and Mid Wales, Merseyside, Cheshire and North Shropshire (SP Manweb network). It is through these two networks of underground cables, overhead lines and substations that we provide 3.5 million homes, businesses and public services with a safe, economical and reliable supply of electricity. As part of our RIIO-ED2 DSO Strategy, we will depend on new tools and capabilities developed, including greater flexibility utilisation from evolving flexibility markets and growing market participation.

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