London-based intelligent energy platform Kaluza has gone live with a new UK-first grid flexibility service which combines a range of smart home devices including vehicle-to-grid (V2G), domestic electric vehicle (EV) smart charging, and sonnenBatterie charging and discharging.
Kaluza boasts itself as “an ecosystem of intelligent platforms powering the future of energy” including everything from billing to smart EV charging, and the company announced on Monday that it had gone live with its new grid flexibility service to Western Power Distribution (WPD), the electricity distribution network operator for the UK’s Midlands, South West, and Wales.
The company’s grid flexibility platform already included a paid flex service to WPD through the intelligent optimisation of a portfolio of sonnen batteries installed in homes.
In fact, earlier this month, Kaluza discharged batteries for over an hour in response to automated signals from WPD’s Control Centre, reducing demand on the network during the evening peak.
This week, however, Kaluza has added domestic electric vehicle (EV) smart charging and Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) optimisation as part of WPD’s IntraFlex project, a move that combines into one service both domestic storage and transport devices.
“Every day we take a step closer to realising a smarter energy system, but the launch of this service is a huge leap forward,” said Conor Maher-McWilliams, Head of Flexibility at Kaluza.
“While flexible, low carbon technologies become increasingly prevalent in people’s homes, there hasn’t been an effective way of coordinating charging across different types of devices to support grid balancing. This service changes that and will enable truly scalable flexibility so that millions of devices can store green and affordable energy in the future.”
The integration EV smart charging into Kaluza’s grid flexibility platform serves to shift EV charging away from times of high demand, allowing them to import electricity when it is cheapest and ‘greenest’ for end customers and the grid.
Further, the integration of V2G chargers and sonnenBatteries supports the WPDnnetwork with available export capacity during times of high demand.
Kaluza claims that “Optimising a combination of domestic devices for flexibility has never previously been achieved” and serves to demonstrate a way forward to a scalable flex market at all levels of the energy system.
The new combination of grid flexibility also marks a milestone for domestic V2G chargers as Kaluza is now able to harness their collective power to provide local grid flexibility for the first time.
“Integrating domestic V2G into this service is in itself an industry triumph,” said Maher-McWilliams. “It demonstrates V2G’s versatile value in boosting grid resilience as part of a diverse flexibility offering, while enabling customers to buy and sell their own renewable energy.”
The overall combination of vehicle-to-grid (V2G), domestic EV smart charging, and sonnenBatterie charging and discharging is managed by Kaluza’s AI technology, providing a fully automated and machine-to-machine operation with no need for manual human intervention.
Kaluza integrates with the NODES market – a Norwegian independent market operator – and is able to participate in its “ShortFlex” trading where flexibility is traded much closer to real time than the more traditional week- or month-ahead timeframes.
This ‘closer to real time’ trading offers much greater accuracy when forecasting the availability of local flexibility and enables greater use of flexible devices on a daily basis.
“Our IntraFlex project and the work Kaluza and NODES are doing are bringing tomorrow’s world to us today,” said Roger Hey, DSO Systems and Projects Manager at WPD.
“For us as a network operator, this project enables us to understand how all of these technologies will work together. For customers it brings forward the prospect of cleaner and cheaper energy in a way that can be replicated across the country.”
“The importance of creating a market for trading flexibility is of paramount importance if we are to truly unlock the value of flexibility and deliver our goal of creating a more sustainable future with greater social welfare,” said Enno Böttcher, CEO at NODES.
“NODES has believed from the outset that a continuous market for trading flexibility will help deliver this goal. By creating a market, where different types of flexibility can compete on a level playing field, the right type of flexibility can be procured at the right price, in the right location at the right time to ease congestion.
“NODES looks forward to working with Kaluza and WPD, as we continue to establish a new market design that seeks to provide flexibility to all levels of the grid and unlock its value via an independent marketplace.”