Virtual power plant plans unveiled by Moixa

Virtual power plant plans unveiled by Moixa

Moixa will create a virtual power plant which could cut energy costs by 10% and save the UK £32 billion if rolled out nationally.

The virtual plant will be the first operational part of a £40 million smart local energy system, which will link up solar panels, batteries and electric vehicles (EVs) around Sussex.

Moixa is part of a consortium of UK technology leaders that has secured £13 million from the government's Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to show how cutting-edge power, heating and transport technologies can work together to cut energy bills, reduce carbon emissions, and help manage the electricity system more efficiently.

Chris Wright, Moixa chief technology officer, said: "This project will show how solar panels, batteries and electric vehicles at home and in the workplace can play a vital role in creating a smart, low-carbon, energy system, cutting energy bills, saving the country billions and helping to meet our climate targets. It will demonstrate the benefits of linking power, heat and transport in one local system and showcase UK expertise in an emerging global smart grid market."

The three-year, £40 million Smart Hubs SLES project, supported by West Sussex County Council and the Carbon and Energy Fund, is expected to cut energy costs by an average 10% per user and save nearly 2000 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year.

It will pioneer a model that will help local authorities launch similar schemes across the country. The consortium calculates that a nationwide roll out could save the UK £32 billion on infrastructure spending by 2035, reducing the need for costly upgrades to the energy network and helping it support increased take-up of renewables, electric vehicles and heat pumps.

Moixa's GridShare platform will aggregate more than 1MW of spare capacity from batteries in homes, schools and council offices - enough to be able to trade in most markets - providing a range of services to National Grid, energy companies and energy distribution networks. Once electric vehicles are fully integrated into the VPP they will be capable of providing a further 1MW.

From Autumn 2019, Moixa will begin installing solar panels and batteries in 250 council homes in Worthing and Shoreham-by-Sea and 100 schools and council buildings in the area, offering a combined 4MW of generation and 4.2MWh of storage. GridShare will use machine learning and artificial intelligence to tailor their performance to customers' needs and maximise their savings, and this is expected to cut home energy bills by up to 40%.

From early 2020, Moixa will also install 250 electric vehicle chargers in homes and in clusters at strategic locations such as council depots and schools. GridShare will learn drivers' patterns of use, making sure their car is ready when needed and charged in the most cost-effective way, whether from solar power, home and work batteries or off-peak grid energy.

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