Digital services and platforms are critical to unlocking value from decentralisation, maximising the use of renewables and enabling more efficient operation of the whole energy system.
Evergreen Smart Power is developing domestic virtual power plants to help consumers benefit from their electric vehicles providing the flexibility to balance a decarbonised grid. Energy Systems Catapult is offering expertise in consumer insight and domestic energy services, scoping the competitor landscape and assessing partnering opportunities.
The Challenge and Opportunity
Work by the Catapult’s Smart Systems and Heat programme, Future Power Systems Architecture and Energy Path Operations has shown significant requirement for digital solutions to manage many scenarios in future energy system. These solutions also present their own challenges such as cyber-security risks, speed of response and coordination of distributed resources to provide a system optimised solution.
Accessing flexibility will present an opportunity to help managed increasing electricity demand, driven by decarbonisation of heat and transport. Flexibility allows domestic consumption to be aligned reactively when low carbon generation is at it’s highest or automatically scheduled to minimise peak load/ramping of fossil fuel generation, spreading loads over off peak periods.
Manchester-based Evergreen Smart Power are an innovative virtual power 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, spread charging over off-peak hours and can reduce the 7kW load of chargers that would otherwise put strain on the network at peak times; it ensures that the car is sufficiently charged when needed. The solution also optimises other loads such as heat pumps and electric heaters.
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.
Energy Systems Catapult is home to the Innovator Support Platform (ISP) that draws on Catapult capabilities and assets, along with those of our partners. The ISP provides innovators with tailored incubation and acceleration support to selected SMEs to help address systemic barriers, de-risk innovation, help businesses scale and secure investment.
Domestic Virtual Power Plants are complex and require solid understanding of system integration, energy trading and consumer engagement models, as well as the ability to work with District Network Operators and EV manufacturers.
The ISP is providing support to coordinate across the various stakeholders to help Evergreen Smart Power develop their future roadmap through competitive landscaping, consumer insights/trial and detailed business model analysis.
Support offered to Evergreen Smart Power, includes:
- Consumer Insights:As part of a Demand-side Response pilot, our Consumer Insight team are helping Evergreen Smart Power test their proposition with 50-100 customers. Insights will help to refine proposition.
- Competitive Landscaping: Catapult partner Gemserv has identified competitors, key strengths and potential blind spots. We also helped develop their target market and strategy (which informed their next work package: Business Modelling).
- Business Value Proposition: Catapult partner WIP will support our Business Model Innovation team to help Evergreen Smart Power develop a business model and value proposition using insights from Competitive Landscaping work. Outputs will be used for pitches to future investors.