UK Power Networks is planning to launch London’s first virtual power station that will generate all its energy from solar panels installed on the roofs of homes.
Headquartered in London, UK Power Networks is a power distribution company that delivers electricity to more than eight million homes and businesses across the nation’s capital, the south-east, and east of England.
The virtual power technology is said to be in line with the London Mayor’s ambition to make it the world’s leading smart city.
Nearly, 40 homes across the London Borough of Barnet will see the installation of a fleet of batteries.
UK Power Networks will have the option to instruct the batteries, through manufacturer and energy aggregator Powervault. This control will enable discharge to relieve pressure on the electricity network at peak times on days when there is high demand for electricity.
As a result of this, the intention is for local residents to save on the energy bills and earn from their batteries as they will receive a payment when batteries discharge.
The new technology could also help to reduce the need for new network infrastructure such as building substations and laying cables.
UK Power Networks asset management director Barry Hatton said: “We are committed to harnessing new technology to deliver direct benefits to our customers. Our plans to create the capital’s first ever ‘virtual power station’ are paving the way for a smart, flexible electricity network that puts people in charge of their energy use.
“London is a world-leader in technology and projects like this are just the start as we move towards a decarbonised, decentralised and digitised network that will offer significant benefits to our customers.
“It will help to keep down electricity distribution costs by providing a viable alternative to the traditional approach of simply adding more cables and substations to increase capacity.”