Smarter Local Load Management for Greener New Homes

Smarter Local Load Management for Greener New Homes

A dynamic load management system capable of sharing green energy is being rolled out across a local power network serving a housing development near Glasgow.

In a UK first, granular capacity data provided by network owner Energy Assets Networks (EAN) is enabling a new load management solution developed by E.ON to balance on-site renewables generation with demand for power from the national grid.

The innovation paves the way for a more sustainable approach to meeting the predicted increase in demand for electricity driven by the installation of heat pumps and electric vehicle charging points in new homes. The partnership project involves EAN, E.ON, distribution network operator SPEN and Cala Homes.

E.ON’s system is being piloted in 77 homes at Cala’s Maidenhill development in Newton Mearns, near Glasgow, and enables excess on-site generated solar power to be shared across the scheme’s community or exported to the grid. Homeowners can choose Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) tariffs and be paid for the surplus solar PV energy not consumed within the home, which otherwise would not be possible on this development.

Gateways installed in each home manage the energy flows and ensure that technologies like PV panels, air source heat pumps and EV charging points work in harmony, with the aim of optimising the availability of green power.

Symon Gray, Head of Networks at EAN, commented: “Our investment in smart cabinet technology means we can deliver the granular network performance data that E.ON’s dynamic load management system relies upon both to share or export green energy and to protect network capacity. From a local network perspective, not only does this approach contribute to energy supply decarbonisation, it can also help avoid costly reinforcement that the emerging era of greater electrification might otherwise require.”

Chris Lovatt, COO for energy infrastructure services at E.ON, commented: “New homes can lead the way in decarbonising heating, transport and wider energy use, but we have to make sure networks are future-proofed so customers can get maximum advantage – whether that’s being able to share the energy they generate locally, exporting it to the grid, or just having the most sustainable home they can in a more affordable way.

“The UK will require hundreds of thousands of new low carbon homes to be built in the coming decades, connected to a smart energy network. Our solution will enable homes to be built to the highest sustainability standards – with heat pumps, solar panels and EV chargers – and connected to the grid where otherwise there could be insufficient network capacity.”

Stephen Kelso, group product design manager for Cala Homes, explained: “Building more sustainable communities is a huge task for the housebuilding sector and a major focus for Cala. New, innovative technology is vital to this, and we’ve been researching and trialling tech that can help us make net zero carbon a reality – but it’s not a case of just switching this on. The right infrastructure needs to be in place to support it.

“Communities like Maidenhill – with 800 homes overall, a new primary school and community amenities – have huge implications for the availability and use of energy. Making a site of this size as sustainable as possible brings additional considerations and puts more pressure on the grid. So, we asked the question: how do we meet this challenge and allow a development like this to fulfil its green energy potential?

“The result is what we believe to be a unique collaboration between a housebuilder, energy company and network operator to find a solution. The technology developed by E.ON is the first of its kind in the UK and there are plans to roll it out in other territories.”

View project video below.

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