Exchanging knowledge with energy networks to help realise opportunities for smart local energy systems

Exchanging knowledge with energy networks to help realise opportunities for smart local energy systems

Simon Sjenitzer, Director of Energy & Climate Change, Tetra Tech

27th September 2021

EnergyREV are engaging with a broad range of organisations directly through their research activities. To investigate the broader opportunities and challenges around smart local energy systems we are hosting a series of events with industry representatives to find how we can work together to overcome wider barriers to wider scale roll out.

In June 2021 EnergyREV held an online workshop with the gas and electric distribution networks in partnership with industry trade organisation, the Energy Networks Association (ENA), whose members include all network owners and operators across the UK.  ENA suggested that members of their Open Networks project would provide a representative group from the electric and gas grid operators to initiate engagement with, where we could share with the electricity and gas network community about EnergyREV’s work to date, to help provide them with insights on our research already published and give them the opportunity to potentially influence future research. Representatives from the network operators fed back on perceived gaps in EnergyREVs work where they felt we could add value to their future development strategy.

We found that the couple of hours that the workshop took place over was not enough to share the broad range of experience and knowledge that both parties have. To become better acquainted with each other’s work, EnergyREV have been invited to be part of the Open Networks Advisory Group where standardising customer experiences and aligning processes to make connecting to the networks as easy as possible and bring record amounts of renewable distributed energy resources, like wind and solar panels, to the local electricity grid. This ongoing communication will enable research taking place across EnergyREV to help underpin the Open Networks project workstreams of:

  • Flexibility Services;
  • Whole Electricity System Planning and T/D Data Exchange;
  • Customer Information Provision and Connections;
  • Distribution System Operation (DSO) Transition;
  • Whole Energy Systems;
  • Communications and Stakeholder Engagement.

This deeper exchange of knowledge will help to enable smart local energy systems to proceed more efficiently.