In advance of the final learning from the Electric Nation project being released in the coming months, the Electric Nation team from Western Power Distribution and EA Technology held a workshop in early April to discuss the role that EV charging could play in the provision of electricity demand flexibility to help WPD manage its network more efficiently.
The workshop provided insight into:
WPD asked stakeholders in EV charging if WPD’s EV charging hierarchy is workable, and what can WPD and others do to realise EV charging flexibility that enables EV drivers to use their vehicles as they wish, without creating avoidable network congestion?
Held at IET Birmingham’s Austin Court venue, the workshop was attended by over 50 delegates including energy suppliers, energy aggregators, charge point manufacturers and smart charge providers.
WPD’s Ricky Duke (Electric Nation’s Project Manager) welcomed delegates to the event, and Nick Storer from EA Technology presented the latest findings from the Electric Nation project. Delegates were very interested to hear about the project’s findings so far and were excited to hear about the final results.
WPD’s Paul Jewell, Ben Godfrey and Matt Watson talked about WPD’s newly published Electric Vehicle Strategy and how they think EVs will be able to contribute to electricity demand flexibility in the future.
Delegates said that they found the workshop useful and interesting, with the presentations stimulating lots of healthy debate, and the event provided an excellent networking opportunity.
The feedback from the event delegates, coupled with learning from the Electric Nation Smart Charging Trial, will be used to refine WPD’s approach to EV charging flexibility and future updates of its Electric Vehicle Strategy.
WPD has become the first distribution network operator (DNO) to launch an Electric Vehicle Strategy, which has been developed in consultation with local authorities, fuel station operators, government departments, the Welsh government, Go Ultra Low Cities, house builders, vehicle manufacturers, fleet operators and Local Energy Partnerships.
The strategy covers everything from connections to 130kW rapid chargers that provide a 35kWh charge in 15 minutes at public charging points, which will usually require investment in a new transformer, to domestic chargers that take around seven hours to provide the same level of charge but often require no network upgrades.
WPD’s business plan predicts that 217,000 chargers will be connected to its network by 2023 and the company is on course to achieve those volumes.