- Case studies
- Springfield Meadows
The Springfield Meadows project aims to optimise the use of large solar PV arrays on multiple domestic rooftops in order to maximise generation, deliver a net positive development and mitigate risks to the local network operations.
Springfield Meadows is a multi-award winning, climate positive development of 25 homes in Oxfordshire designed and built by the environmental conscience Greencore Construction. The houses are built to Passivhaus energy standards and are better than zero-carbon, making them climate positive. They are also net-zero energy and that means really comfortable living with low bills. Click here to see an interactive map of Springfield Meadows.
Due to the unusually large amount of solar PV energy generation, and thus aggregate export, from this development, the Business-as-Usual planned infrastructure from Distribution Network Operators will not suffice. One solution to handle the increased exportation from PV would be to install more infrastructure, i.e. add another transformer, but this would mean more costs to bill payers, more embedded carbon and it would not be a smart solution to be replicated for low carbon developments elsewhere.
The solution must therefore:
- Have a reasonable timeframe of 3-6 months
- Avoid network reinforcement and cost less
- Be scalable i.e replicable to other developments or for retrofitting
- Be easy to deliver
- Not be overly complex
- Be smart and fair and meet the Low Carbon Hub’s ethical framework
Through innovative solutions we aim to reduce the need for additional infrastructure in the future, which is estimated to cost bill payers and the government £47bn per year by 2050. See here for more on this.
Aim of the trial
To optimise the use of large solar PV arrays on multiple domestic rooftops in order to maximise generation, deliver a net positive development and mitigate risks to the local network operations.
What we hope to do
By March 2023 we hope to have:
- all property owners at Springfield Meadows exporting as much electricity as they can generate and reaping the reward
- explored a few solutions, with quantified costs and time frames, so that future projects can see our logic/decision processes
- identified the cost of reinforcement and why it is required and how it can be avoided
- enabled collaboration and innovation between multiple organisations in the energy industry
- published the results of our work so that other low carbon developments can benefit from the project.
What stage are we at?
The Springfield Meadows team have established 3 innovative solutions to proceed with:
- Dynamic Connection Agreement
- Local Load Balancing
- Dynamic Export Reallocation
We have also established 2 fall-back solutions that will continue in the background:
- Resizing the solar edge inverters
- Upgrading the infrastructure.
The Low Carbon Hub is in the process of scoping the solutions which will include how, or if, they will be funded and who will be working on them.
An additional study on modelling of the solar generation is in the pipeline of work. This may show that due to the orientation of PV panels, throughout the site, there is not such a large peak in generation i.e not simply the sum of inverter capability.
The plan is to have the team working on solutions and for a short-term solution to be completed by Spring and long-term solution by March 2023.
Who is involved?
|Low Carbon Hub||Responsible for managing delivery of the project.|
|SSEN||Experts in grid connections and costs to upgrade the grid|
|Origami||Consultants with specialisation in digital grid solutions.|
|R-Eco||Bespoke PV installation|
|Active Building Centre||Consultants with specialisation in low carbon buildings and grid solutions|
|PT volts||Digitalisation and decarbonisation of grid infrastructure|
|Green Core Construction||Developers of Springfield Meadows|