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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number NPG_NIA_039
Title Community DSO
Status Completed
Energy Categories Other Cross-Cutting Technologies or Research(Demographics) 35%;
Other Power and Storage Technologies(Electricity transmission and distribution) 30%;
Other Cross-Cutting Technologies or Research(Environmental, social and economic impacts) 35%;
Research Types Applied Research and Development 100%
Science and Technology Fields ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) 100%
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Environmental dimensions) 15%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Consumer attitudes and behaviour) 50%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Technology acceptance) 35%;
Principal Investigator Project Contact
No email address given
Northern Powergrid (Northeast) Limited
Award Type Network Innovation Allowance
Funding Source Ofgem
Start Date 01 January 2022
End Date 31 December 2022
Duration ENA months
Total Grant Value £170,000
Industrial Sectors Power
Region North East
Investigators Principal Investigator Project Contact , Northern Powergrid (Northeast) Limited (99.999%)
  Other Investigator Project Contact , Northern Powergrid (Yorkshire) plc (0.001%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , UK Power Networks (0.000%)
Project Contact , Northern Powergrid (0.000%)
Web Site https://smarter.energynetworks.org/projects/NPG_NIA_039
Objectives It could be possible for DNOs to more actively enable and support customers to develop their own effective SLES solutions, with communities providing services to the DSO. In doing this, DNOs should be technology agnostic but provide easy-to-use common frameworks and design approaches to ensure that any SLES, or combination of independent implementations, is economically efficient, effective, and manageable across the whole system, whilst providing a good solution for the DNO. This should also support a level playing-field allowing a fair net-zero transition for all customers. This approach responds to many strands of UK policy set out in the UK Energy White Paper and 10-point plan aimed at delivering low carbon energy with smart local systems.The method that this NIA project seeks to promote is the adoption of a DSO-like role by physically connected local energy communities, to enable and empower those communities to manage their own energy resources. One of the foundations of this method is the designation of an existing distribution network as having a hierarchical cellular structure. Individual LV feeders or secondary networks will comprise a single cell, and local actors within that physical cell can opt to use their DERs to act as a community DSO. DNOs will have responsibility for managing multiple cells (e.g., the aggregated behaviour of multiple secondary networks or HV feeders).However, the technology readiness levels for this method is currently too low to proceed immediately to physical trials. Therefore, this NIA will carry out desktop research and analysis to help progress the concept and increase the technology readiness level. This research will: Define a range of SLES solutions and typologies representing a broad part of the community energy market, replicable across the majority of the UK. Identify possible solutions for delivering LES schemes and a hierarchical cellular control structure looking at existing innovation and schemes / trials across the UK and Europe. Explore overarching technical and commercial architectures which could be tested in a trial. Assess the market potential for roll-out of the method, and appraise its value. Produce a business case for further research and innovation activity.Five workpacakages are planned:WP1 - Technical enablers: We will identify the technological enablers required to make the Community DSO concept viable and engage with prospective suppliers to identify what technology readiness levels are and whether there are any critical technological gaps.WP2 - Commercial models: We will investigate possible commercial models which could be used to incentivise and create value from the Community DSO concept. This will include interactions with network charging and access, flexibility services, and the commercial relationship between the incumbent DNO and the community DSO.WP3 - Market potential: We will research the prospective market for the Community DSO, including both (i) the possible pool of trial participants in NPg and UKPNs licence area and (ii) the longer-term prospects for adoption. This will include some focused engagement with relevant community groups., with a view to developing trials in a future stage of research. WP4 - Appraising value for community: We will undertake some modelling to identify the possible value that could be created from Community DSO by unlocking flexibility on the HV and LV networks. This will incorporate justified assumptions about the nature of the flexibility that could be accessed and will help to determine a credible upper bound on the level of benefits that could be created for different archetypes.WP5 - Business case: We will prepare the business case for further development of the concept, following the conclusion of the preceding four work packages. This will include a more extensive cost benefit analysis (drawing on the outputs of WP4 in particular). This business case will inform NPgs decisions about how to progress the concept further.  Scope includes technical, social and economic issues associated with the potential implementation of smart klocal energy systems. This includes the identification of potential barriers to implementation and the quantificastion of potential for benefits of such systems. The overarching objective of this project is to identify and demonstrate at a theoretical level that there are community SLES solutions that could help deliver an optimised energy system and accelerate decarbonisation whilst providing local community benefit. Specifically for this NIA research project, the objectives are to: Understand the types of technical solutions and architectures which could enable a Community DSO Model, exploring exiting offerings (we are aware that many of the components may already exist, but they are not in a structure which can currently deliver the solution), innovators and organisations operating in this field, and gap analysis where further innovation and technical development may be required. Identify the potential market size for SLES solutions, and therefore the role that the Community DSO model could have in helping to transform the energy system. Engage with communities to assess whether there are communities that would participate in a Community DSO trial as part of a future innovation project. Identify potential commercial structures for delivery of Community DSO SLES, the values (economic and broader) which can be obtained, and whether there are viable economic solutions which can deliver a cost benefit to consumers and networks.
Abstract Smart local energy systems are one approach to future energy systems architectures. A fractal approach, using a limited set of configurable local energy archetypes has been proposed.This project aims to understand , and to provide initial estimates of the magnitude of, the technical, social and economic issues that are important in determining whether this approach is a viable future option and to identify barriers to implementation. 
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 02/11/22