Increasing renewable energy generation is only part of the solution to creating a fully decarbonised grid. We must also create a system that uses it effectively and limits waste. This is where local flexibility at the grid level comes in – storing clean energy across smart devices in people’s homes when it’s in abundance and using innovative technologies, such as AI, to connect smart batteries in VPPs and send it back to the grid when it is most needed.
We are thrilled to announce that we have successfully completed the first season of the flexibility contract we had won — leveraging our GridShare software’s AI to deliver grid services in support of DNO UK Power Networks — in the constrained zones of Worthing and Littlehampton.
UK Power Networks is taking a ‘Flexibility First’ approach and is therefore working with technology and flexibility providers like Moixa to smooth the energy demand peaks and reduce the impact on their networks. This would help them avoid or defer network reinforcements and expensive upgrading works whilst allowing more clean energy onto the grid.
This grid services contract started in December 2021 and will last for six years, covering a three-month period every year (from December to February). The contract’s goal was to create a Virtual Power Plant (VPP) of smart batteries to successfully support the area’s energy demand and export power in response to pressure on the grid.
Before the contract started, the Moixa team engaged with the local community and encouraged eligible homeowners to install Moixa optimised batteries in their homes.
A VPP of Moixa optimised batteries through GridShare software
The intelligence behind Moixa optimised batteries lies in our GridShare software. GridShare has the ability to connect home energy storage devices so they can form a VPP, a cloud-based, decentralised network of storage systems, and increase the amount of renewable energy on the grid by providing flexibility services.
Thanks to our pioneering technology, we are the first company to have integrated with UK Power Networks’ cloud-based automated dispatch system. This allowed AI instructions to be sent through the cloud to automatically decide which batteries the GridShare software should control to export energy back to the grid.
We are proud to have delivered the flexibility targets set for this contract and achieved highly positive results. The dispatches were completed with an average overall delivery of over 96%.
A key factor in the effective delivery of residential VPPs is the amount the installed capacity is over specified to account for system dropouts, typically called headroom. Moixa has been able to deliver this contract with a very limited headroom due to the sophistication of our GridShare software and experience in getting fleets of devices VPP-ready.
The local community played a vital role
Homeowners who participated in this flexibility contract had the opportunity to play an active role in the local energy market, turning into prosumers and joining the community that is enabling the energy system of the future.
Some of Moixa’s customers who participated in the grid contract, such as Andy Thomas and Brian Quaife, shared their feedback on the experience, providing us with valuable insights and suggestions to help us further improve the performance in 2023. Andy commented that “The experience was pretty seamless. I’m getting our battery upgraded to a larger system, so next year I hope to be able to contribute further. It’ll be interesting to see how much we’re paying for electricity this time next year; it could be very valuable work”.
Making this flexible future a reality
Energy flexibility enables us to make the transition to more low-carbon electricity without the need to build new, expensive infrastructure. It will be a key concept that everybody – from national governments to corporations to individuals – will need to embrace if we are going to deliver on a truly sustainable energy system.
Moixa’s work in this space has shown how domestic flexibility can help effectively introduce more renewable energy onto the grid and reduce grid constraints at peak times while maximising the benefits for our customers and the community.
Speaking about this grid contract, John Linfoot, Moixa’s Head of Delivery, commented that “Unlocking flexibility in energy assets within residential properties is key to a smart energy system. Using our innovative GridShare technology to deliver local grid services to UK Power Networks in an integrated and automated way was a breakthrough moment for Moixa. We will continue to pave the way through flexibility to bring on more low carbon technologies and lay the foundations of a future powered by renewables.”