DATA from local substations will be made available to electricity network operators to help them understand how to better meet demand at peak times.
Under the initiative, which has been called the OpenLV project, distribution network operators (DNOs) and other third parties such as businesses and academia will be able to use data from the substations to determine whether networks can cope with the increasing numbers of electric vehicles (EVs).
The data will be collected by software installed at 80 low-voltage distribution substations in DNO Western Power Distribution’s licence areas – the Midlands, the south-west and south Wales.
OpenLV hopes that if this data flags up a potential capacity issue, other initiatives could be brought in instead of “costly and disruptive infrastructure reinforcement works”. These include smart charging, vehicle-to-grid technology and energy storage, to name but a few.
The project, which is being led by Western Power Distribution (WPD) and EA Technology, is also asking for submissions of ideas for apps that could be developed using data from electricity networks. It is hoped these apps could help manage aspects such as charging an increasing number of EVs.
WPD innovation manager Mark Dale said: “The OpenLV project is making local electricity network data ‘open access’ for the first time ever.
“This presents a great opportunity for smart thinking and innovation. We’re inviting people, ranging from community groups to industry stakeholders, to come up with novel ideas for apps that can make use of this data.”
Richard Potter, EA Technology’s OpenLV project manager, added: “We’re at an exciting point where different sectors such as automotive, energy and IT have opportunities to come together to help the UK move towards a smart electricity grid.
“Innovative ideas about apps that could offer people benefits are welcomed from all sectors, as well as from the energy industry itself.”
For more information on OpenLV, visit www.openlv.net