Ricardo supports ground-breaking trial

Ricardo is supporting a ground-breaking trial run by UK Power Networks, into using smart grid technology to unlock spare capacity for increased electric vehicle use.

The project, called Active Response, will trial a responsive, automated electricity network that reconfigures itself, moving spare capacity to where the demand is. It will do this by using power electronics and automated switching to move electricity from heavily loaded substations to nearby substations with spare capacity. The project has the potential to save customers £271m and reduce carbon emissions by 448,000 tonnes by 2030. UK Power Networks delivers electricity to over eight million homes and businesses.

In November 2017, Ofgem approved the joint bid for the project submitted by UK Power Networks and SP Energy Networks as part of the annual Network Innovation Competition. Ricardo has supported the project from its initial concept and proposal development, and will continue to play a key role throughout its lifespan of four years.

Sarah Carter, Ricardo’s business area manager for smart grids and networks, said, ‘Unlocking spare capacity is essential to adapt to the predicted increase in electric vehicles in a way that is cost effective for consumers. We are delighted to be supporting the Active Response project and to help the UK to take an important step to transitioning to a low carbon economy.’

By 2030 it is anticipated that there will be up to 1.9m electric vehicles in use across London, the East and South East of England where UK Power Networks delivers electricity.