Residential solar and storage set to provide flexibility in local energy market trial

Image: EDF

Residential solar and storage is to provide flexibility to UK Power Networks (UKPN) as part of a new local energy market (LEM) trial in Brixton.

Elmore House – a block of flats in South London – is already taking part in Project CommUNITY, a peer-to-peer energy trading trial run by EDF that sees residents trade energy generated from solar and stored in batteries between each other.

Now that project will go one step further, with an LEM to run out of the flats, testing how residents can support local power supplies by offering flexible power services to respond to supply and demand. The project, dubbed Urban Energy Club, is being run by EDF, UKPN and Repowering London.

Residents of apartment blocks and flats have traditionally been deterred from using low carbon technology, UKPN said, with the Urban Energy Club project having potential to enable more people to use renewables and bring new income for individuals and communities otherwise unable to participate in the flexibility market.

Ian Cameron, head of innovation at UK Power Networks, said: “Elmore House residents will be able to dip their toes into the water of managing renewable energy, generated from their own rooftop.”

UKPN has previously used residential solar and storage for flexibility services, incorporating the technologies into a virtual power plant in 2018.

Dr Maria Brucoli, smart energy systems manager at EDF Energy R&D, said the Urban Energy Club project will hopefully inspire "many more" of its kind.

“Working with UK Power Networks on this new project is the first step to understanding how domestic, local energy markets like this can interact with the grid and flex to match market demands.”