Green light for Oxfordshire Project delivering a smarter energy system

13th May 2020

Project LEO (Local Energy Oxfordshire), led by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), has been given the green light to progress to the next stage of delivering a smarter energy system in Oxfordshire.

Project LEO brings together significant local, academic and industry experience and expertise, to undertake one of the most wide-ranging and holistic smart grid trials ever conducted in the UK. The Project is trialling the matching of renewable generation and demand at a local level, to support new technologies, local markets and community engagement.

In the first year of the three-year project, partners have developed ‘Minimum Viable Systems’ (MVS) that allow the controlled management and monitoring of low-carbon technologies’ impact on the network. The MVS trials that have been completed, tested a range of scenarios that the UK’s energy system will likely experience in the transition to a smarter electricity system and these tests will continue throughout the project, in a larger and more complex fashion.

Project LEO is funded through £13.8m from the Industrial Strategy Challenge fund, managed by Innovate UK and is supported by £26m of private funding from the project partners. As such it is required to demonstrate to Innovate UK that it is making strong progress in delivering its objectives of developing a smart local energy market in Oxfordshire.

Innovate UK has announced that LEO’s project partners have successfully demonstrated strong progress, evidenced through a comprehensive submission for the first year. Project LEO will now develop larger energy trials, building on the key learnings from the initial phase of the project. The project is aiming to create the tools to support the development of a local energy market in Oxfordshire.

Melanie Bryce, SSEN’s Oxfordshire Programme Director welcomed the announcement:

“It is fantastic to see Project LEO’s partners’ hard work being recognised by Innovate UK. The learnings we gather from Oxfordshire will help inform a route to net zero that supports local communities taking an active role in the energy system that serves them, across the UK.”

This announcement follows the news that Project TRANSITION passed its Ofgem stage gate process. TRANSITION is testing the most effective system architecture that supports the proliferation of low-carbon technologies and solutions and forms a core part of Project LEO. For further information on Project TRANSITION please visit

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