Consortium will use cutting-edge power, heating and transport technologies to cut bills, reduce emissions and support smart grid
Moixa will create a virtual power plant (VPP) linking solar panels, batteries and electric vehicles in hundreds of homes, schools and council buildings in a groundbreaking project demonstrating smart technology which could cut energy costs by 10% and save the UK £32 billion if rolled out nationally, the company announced today.
The company 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.
Moixa’s VPP will be the first operational element of a smart local energy system (SLES) around Worthing and Shoreham-By-Sea, West Sussex, which will also include: a marine source heat pump and combined heat and power system; a grid-scale battery using second-life electric car batteries; air source heat pumps supporting domestic boilers; and a hybrid refuelling station supporting electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles at nearby Horsham.
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 rollout 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 will use £7.2 million of the project budget to create the UK’s largest mixed-asset VPP aggregating up to 2MW of capacity and the first to use batteries from a range of manufacturers in combination with electric vehicles plugged into the network. It will be integrated with other smart technologies, once they are operational, to form a VPP with 17MW of capacity, managed by Flexitricity.
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.
When electric vehicles are plugged in the V2X (vehicle-to-everything) chargers will allow their batteries to be used to power homes and offices or export electricity onto the network at times of peak demand. Electric vehicles typically have a 30kWh battery, six times the size of home batteries used in the trial, and they will play an increasingly important role in Moixa’s VPP as adoption grows.
Moixa recently formed a partnership with Honda, and Honda Motor Europe will provide support to maximise the benefits of integrating electric vehicles into the local energy system. The project will use V2X chargers from Honda and other manufacturers.
Steve Read, West Sussex County Council’s Director of Energy, Waste and Environment, said: “This is an exciting opportunity and recognition of our growing reputation for delivering successful, pioneering energy projects such as our solar farms, battery storage projects and Solar Power for Schools programme.
“The lessons we learn will help the Government to plan ahead and adapt our national energy system to the fundamental changes taking place. These include the growth in renewable energy supply, increasing demand for energy from electric vehicles and other innovations, and the challenge of balancing energy supply and demand.”
Consortium partners will begin work on a range of other smart systems from late 2019 coordinated by Advanced Infrastructure:
- A 2MW marine source heat pump, supplied by ICAX, will be linked with a combined heat and power network, supplied by Switch2, who will manage the system. It will be the first large-scale scheme in the UK, supplying heat to more than 1,000 homes at Shoreham.
- Air source heat pumps will be installed alongside gas boilers in 250 homes at Shoreham creating a hybrid heat network, supplied and managed by Passiv Systems.
- A 20MW storage system using second-life electric vehicle batteries will be supplied by Connected Energy, in the first large-scale project to use batteries from a range of manufacturers.
- A hybrid vehicle refuelling station at Horsham will offer rapid charging to electric vehicles and will support vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells, such as those used by the Brighton and Hove Metrobus fleet. It will be the first of its kind in the UK, with a grid connection backed-up by a 2MW solar carport and storage from a 1MW hydrogen electrolyser. Flexisolar will supply the EV charging hub and solar carport while hydrogen technology will be supplied by ITM Power, who will manage the system.
Once deployed, these technologies will provide 7.65MW of generation and more than 17 MW of storage. Flexitricity will aggregate and trade flexibility from all elements of the project. Moixa will also be free to trade its own flexibility directly.
The project will allow companies which are leaders in their fields to develop compatible products and services, demonstrate their benefits, and position them to take advantage of an emerging global market for smart energy systems. The government expects $2 trillion a year to be invested in global energy infrastructure over the next decades.
For more information about Moixa and to arrange interviews, please contact:
David Mason firstname.lastname@example.org +44 (0) 7799 072320
Rosie Williams email@example.com +44 (0) 7990 788411
NOTES TO EDITORS
INDUSTRIAL STRATEGY CHALLENGE FUND
UK Research and Innovation awarded the £13 million funding from the £102.5 million Prospering from the Energy Revolution Challenge, part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, which aims to bring together the latest low carbon power, transport and heating technologies with storage and smart systems using advanced IT to create intelligent local energy systems and services that cut bills, improve system efficiency, reduce the need for expensive new infrastructure and create high-value jobs. See https://www.gov.uk/government/news/four-leading-edge-demonstrators-to-jumpstart-energy-revolution
THE SMART LOCAL ENERGY SYSTEMS CONSORTIUM
The consortium is coordinated by Advanced Infrastructure and includes Connected Energy, Flexitricity, Honda Motor Europe, ITM Power, ICAX, Moixa Technology, PassivSystems, Switch2 Energy, The Carbon and Energy Fund and West Sussex County Council.
Moixa (www.moixa.com) is the UK’s leading smart battery company. Moixa makes smart batteries and GridShare software to manage smart charging of batteries and electric vehicles. GridShare® manages over 50MWh of residential batteries across 6000 homes in the UK and Japan – forming one of the world’s largest virtual power plants. The software uses AI to learn and optimise daily charging, leveraging low carbon resources and time-of-day tariffs. GridShare platform also enables utilities to aggregate and manage large fleets of batteries and electric vehicles in order to deliver flexibility services into ancillary markets.
Moixa was recently selected from 13,900 companies as a Global Cleantech 100 company and has raised over £16m in funding in the last two years including investment from leading companies in Japan. The company has an unrivalled track record in energy storage innovation, gained over 12 years of research and delivery of £6m of grants and pilots, and has over 20 patents on key aggregation, smart storage and electric vehicle optimisation technologies.
Moixa smart grid patents are cited by hundreds of international companies and include US20140159485, US9379545, AU2013353807, GB2510804, GB2539317, EU 13815546.0, US20100076615, US8849471, GB2476213, EU 09756537.8, GB1810314.3.
 The consortium estimates the technologies would cut energy costs for users of the local energy system by an average 1.4p/kWh. The average UK electricity price is 14.37p/kWh according to the Energy Savings Trust.