Energy Systems Catapult initially supported Evergreen with through our Energy Launchpad. Focusing on Consumer Insight around domestic energy services, scoping the competitor landscape and assessing partnering opportunities.
We then partnered with Evergreen, myenergi, and Swansea University in applying to the UK Government Flexibly-Responsive Energy Delivery (FRED) programme, where £9.78 million of funding was committed to supporting a range of innovative domestic Demand Side Response (DSR) demonstration projects.
A more flexible energy system will help the UK to achieve Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050 at a lower cost.
Traditionally, electricity system flexibility was delivered on the ‘supply-side’ of the energy meter, by power stations changing how much energy they generated to ensure supply always matched demand.
But with the increasing demand for clean but intermittent renewable energy from the wind and sun, continuing to rely on supply-side solutions alone would require massive amounts of new generation, grid-scale energy storage and increasing the capacity of the grid to distribute more electricity at times of peak demand – which would be prohibitively expensive.
New ways of delivering flexibility are emerging. Demand-side response (DSR) uses digital platforms and smart controls to shift consumer demand away from times of peak energy consumption or to take advantage of times of excess renewable generation by working with smart technologies such energy storage, heat pumps and electric vehicles.
This flexibility allows energy to be used or stored when clean electricity supply is high and used later when supply is low – improving grid resilience and avoiding the cost increasing capacity, maximising the use of renewable energy and reducing consumers cost and carbon emissions.
Manchester-based Evergreen Smart Power are an innovative Virtual Power Plant (VPP) business, aggregating and controlling domestic energy loads resulting from the decarbonisation of transport and heating to suit specific customer, market, generation and grid conditions.
Evergreen’s solution for electric vehicles (EVs) can respond to grid conditions, to spread charging over off-peak hours, reducing the 7kW load of chargers that would otherwise put strain on the network at peak times, while ensuring that EVs are sufficiently charged when needed. The VPP integrates with smart technologies, such as electric vehicle charging, heat pumps, batteries or smart hot water tanks to optimises and manage electricity demand in real time based on price signals from the electricity grid.
Evergreen’s Smart Power solution enables:
- Consumers to gain maximum benefit from energy generation, storage and consumption;
- Access the flexibility around domestic loads to address the challenges faced by the industry for the mutual benefit of energy stakeholders, domestic users and society.
However, VPPs are complex, cutting across systems integration, energy trading and consumer engagement models, as well as the need to work with District Network Operators and EV manufacturers. So to overcome resource limitations and explore wider opportunities in the market, Evergreen needed additional expertise.
Energy Systems Catapult initially supported Evergreen with tailored incubation and acceleration support to help address barriers to growth, de-risk innovation, scale-up the business and secure investment.
Energy Launchpad supported Evergreen with:
- Competitor Landscaping to identify their key strengths and potential blind spots. HElping Evergreen refine their target market and strategy (which informed their next work package: Business Modelling).
- Business Model Innovation we then explored Evergreen’s Value Proposition to help develop a business model, alternative target markets and revenue streams. Outputs were developed to be used for future investment pitches and funding applications.