What We Did
Partnering with UK Power Networks to unlock flexibility at a domestic level
In 2019, Moixa won a contract with UK Power Networks, an electricity distribution network operator, in one of the country’s first contracts to provide energy capacity to a local electricity network from home energy storage across 16 Sussex postcodes.
This partnership aimed to enable those with distributed small-scale energy storage assets at their home or business to offer energy capacity. Moixa’s smart batteries would respond to demand across UK Power Networks’ region to export power to help meet consumption during peak energy usage periods.
Creating a Virtual Power Plant with Moixa’s GridShare software
The flexibility contract covered the Sussex and Lewes areas and lasted from September 2020 to May 2021. Twenty-seven homes within the area of Lewes were equipped with Moixa’s 4.8kWh Smart Batteries to create a Virtual Power Plant (VPP) through Moixa’s GridShare technology.
One of the benefits of our GridShare software is the ability to connect distributed devices so they could form a cloud-based, decentralised network of power generation systems.
UK Power Networks and Moixa ensured the Virtual Power Plant was ready for winter 2020/21 when the request for electricity was at its peak. The process included recruiting customers to participate in the project, integrating with the UK Power Networks’ cloud-based automated dispatch system, and conducting intensive testing to determine the readiness of the technology. Moixa acted as the technology and flexibility provider, while UK Power Networks was the flexibility procurer.
- One of the country’s first contracts to provide energy capacity to a local electricity network from home energy storage
- Delivering 50kW from a virtual power plant (VPP) of 27 aggregated home batteries within the area of Lewes
- Integrating with UK Power Networks’ cloud-based automated dispatch system
- Providing customers with cleaner and cheaper energy whilst alleviating grid constraints
- Enabling end customers to play a more active role in the local energy market
Meeting the requirements with 50kW delivered by the Virtual Power Plant
The batteries that formed the Virtual Power Plant in Lewes successfully supported the energy demand in the area and exported power in response to pressure on the grid. This provided each customer with affordable and uninterrupted energy while increasing the amount of renewable energy on the grid and alleviating its pressure. The VPP managed to deliver 50kW, meeting the targets that were set for this contract.
Thanks to our pioneering technology, we are the first company to have integrated with UK Power Networks’ cloud-based automated dispatch system. This allowed Moixa instructions to be sent through the cloud to automatically decide which batteries the GridShare software should control to export energy back to the grid.
Unlocking flexibility is key to net zero
Renewables pave the way for a low carbon future, but we cannot ignore the impacts of their intermittency on the existing grid system.
Finding ways to allow more flexibility on the grid and unlocking flexibility at a domestic level is critical as we transition to net zero. This contract demonstrated how different stakeholders could work together to support the move to zero-carbon electricity at minimum system cost while enabling households to play a more active role in the energy landscape.
About UK Power Networks
UK Power Networks is a Distribution Networks Operator (DNO) providing power to a quarter of the UK’s population. UK Power Networks owns and maintains the regulated electricity distribution networks serving London, the South East and East of England.
The DNO was the country’s first network operator to commit to a radical Flexibility First’ approach in 2018, seeking to procure flexible energy services as the default option in preference to reinforcing or upgrading their assets. This approach allows those with distributed small-scale energy storage assets at their home or business to offer energy capacity while being a cost-effective option for customers, as it replaces the need to make costly network reinforcements.
“Britain is leading the world at harnessing the power of all these batteries that are going to be connected and using them for public good. Three years ago this market didn’t exist and now it’s offering as much capacity as a gas-fired power station. We’re working with some of the most exciting start-ups out there, and we’re proving it in the real world. There’s a long way to go and no silver bullet, but the way we’re using technology and data is going to be a big part of the answer to meeting the challenge of reaching Net Zero.” – Sul Alli, Director of Strategy and Customer Services, UK Power Networks