- Case studies
- People's Power Station 2.0
Developing a digital tool to accelerate the transition to net zero energy system.
Digitalisation will be a key element in developing smart local energy systems. From individual households that will make use of smart-enabled appliances through to large scale renewable energy generation sites such as solar parks, smart technology will be crucial in the shift to a zero carbon energy system.
The way people use energy is changing as increasingly we are electrifying our transport and our heating to end our reliance on fossil fuels. This is increasing our demand for electricity in our homes and businesses.
We are also generating electricity more locally – known as decentralisation – which the current network isn’t set up to deal with.
Digital platforms, like People’s Power Station 2.0 (PPS 2.0) will enable a whole new way of managing our energy system. One that is shifting from the traditional, centralised one-way system to a decentralised multi-way interaction.
What we hope to learn?
Through the development of the People’s Power Station 2.0 we hope to understand how digital platforms can help with the transition to a zero carbon energy system, and can benefit people and communities.
It is being developed by the Low Carbon Hub who aim to create the ‘smartest community energy portfolio in the world’. We hope to learn how we can optimise the performance of energy generation assets, like Solar PV arrays, hydro, and batteries.
The project is also exploring how data, digital platforms and smart technology will be able to help people and communities take a more active role in the energy transition.
What it is
The People’s Power Station 2.0 is a cloud-based software tool. It will gather intelligence from energy assets such as solar PV or batteries and it will control the amount of energy they export (or import).
It will work on a variety of scales, from managing domestic assets through to large scale renewable energy sites, like ground mount solar parks. It will help us to optimise the way these energy assets work to ensure that people and communities can make the most of the transition to net zero.
We will explore how we can coordinate energy assets at the grid edge to offer up flexibility – and make a more efficient use of the energy network. How we can bring people’s individual domestic energy assets together to offer up enough flexibility to take part in markets and benefit people and communities.
There are several benefits to developing such a tool. It will:
- Improve the operations of the Low Carbon Hub portfolio by reading inverter data and automatically flagging any issues, allowing remote diagnosis and quicker response times.
- Empower the Low Carbon Hub to develop more flexible operations, to control the power output of energy assets and deliver flexibility services ‘behind the meter’ at the grid edge
- Enable others to operate flexibly too, by helping to test the model and encourage roll out of flexible energy across Oxfordshire.
What are we doing?
The People’s Power Station 2.0 is still being developed. Work in progress includes:
- Building the cloud-based platform engine
- Integrating community scale energy generation sites, such as Rose Hill Primary School PV and battery and Sandford Hydro
- Preparing for integration of Ray Valley Solar and the roll out to the rest of the Low Carbon Hub portfolio
- Testing the system and process for participation in Project LEO trials, for example controlling / dispatching assets when required
- Integrating local grid ‘open data’. Project LEO is about improving quality of data that is available and there is ongoing work to improve how we monitor the network at the ‘grid edge’. PPS is integrating this data to show local information and inform how people and communities can manage their energy use.
- Piloting the live community energy ‘dashboards’ to illustrate to communities the most useful data in helping them inform behaviour change.
Who is involved?
The Low Carbon Hub is leading the development of the People’s Power Station 2.0, it’s proof of concept and operations and management function.
It is part of the Project LEO market trials and Smart and Fair Neighbourhood trials.