In this webinar Sarah Darby, Scot Wheeler, and Melanie Bryce will talk on smart local energy systems, based on their ongoing work in Project Local Energy Oxfordshire (LEO). Helen Gavin will host the webinar.
Project LEO is considered to be one of the most ambitious, wide-ranging, innovative, and holistic smart grid trials ever conducted in the UK.
The UK’s electricity system is changing, with more renewable and low-carbon technologies producing power. In addition, opportunities for consumers to generate and sell electricity, store electricity in batteries and in electric vehicles mean that there are new ways to reduce the demand for power at key times.
One reason why the project is focused on Oxfordshire is because there are constraints on the local electricity network. These constraints prevent additional renewable energy generation from being installed, or make it prohibitively expensive. Traditionally, expensive network reinforcement would be needed to satisfy extra demand and enable more renewable generators to connect to the grid. However, advances in technology and the ability to balance demand at different times mean that instead of reinforcement, the solution could lie in a smarter, secure and more flexible network.
A further reason for locating the project in Oxfordshire lies in the strength of public support for energy transition, built up through community groups, social enterprises and local government, and the expertise and know-how that are available through the universities and local businesses.
The purpose of Project LEO is to improve our understanding of these opportunities, and to explore the smart, secure and flexible network of the future. This will not only help us reduce greenhouse gas emissions and generate electricity at lower cost, but also allow households, businesses and communities to have a share of the benefits.