UK Power Networks  has accepted 14 bids from ev.energy to provide flexibility services in its latest round of commercial tenders. The network operator has committed £14m in funding to kick-start a new market for flexibility across the South East and East of England. This market is designed to lower costs to consumers by enabling  network reinforcement work that often requires digging up streets, to be deferred to a later date. 

This is the first time that domestic electric vehicles have won a commercial tender, competing against more established flexibility technologies like diesel generators and static batteries. ev.energy has participated in several electric vehicle trials leading up to this moment, including UK Power Networks’s project Shift as well as learning in other markets with Alperia in Italy and utilities like Silicon Valley Clean Energy and Ameren in the US.

Electric vehicles can increase demand on the local electricity network, however when managed smartly, this technology has the potential to provide valuable flexibility to help balance the grid. ev.energy’s smart charging platform automatically schedules electric vehicle charging away from peak-times to periods when the grid is less congested. Using ev.energy’s smart charging app, electric vehicle owners set a ready by time to ensure their car is always ready when they need it. They also have a ‘boost’ button, providing full control to override the schedule at any time and charge straight away. 

William Goldsmith, ev.energy’s Head Commercial of Grid Services, said: “With over 25 MW of EV load on our platform, ev.energy is in an excellent position to deliver flexibility services to the UK’s power grid. UK Power Networks’ collaborative approach has been a great help in enabling newer flexibility technologies like electric vehicle charging to access these market. We look forward to continuing our work with the smart grid team to help shift electric vehicle charging from being a problem for electricity networks into part of the solution for a zero-carbon, flexible grid.”

Sotiris Georgiopoulos, head of Smart Grid Development at UK Power Networks said: “UK Power Networks believe that smart charging will bring many benefits to customers and help enable the EV uptake. We are delighted to be working with innovative flexibility providers such as ev.energy to provide the first DSO revenues for domestic households.”