Lightsource Labs to deliver flexibility to GB network operators


Lightsource Labs, a subsidiary of Lighthouse bp, is to deliver 1.8MW of flexibility to UK Power Networks and 15kW to Western Power Distribution.

The flexibility, the first awards for the company with British network operators, is planned to help alleviate constraints on the respective distribution networks during times of unusually high peak demand by either shifting the demand away from these peak periods or turning up generation.

Lightsource Labs will utilise its energy management technology, Tribe, installed in residential properties within each zone to deliver the contracted flexibility services.

Tribe will connect to either existing or new generation and storage assets within the properties, including solar PV, batteries and electric vehicle charging points.

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Flexibility to support grid planning

In each zone, Tribe’s AI technology will optimise schedules of the connected storage assets and loads to ensure there is enough capacity reserved to reduce the evening peak demand. The systems will aggregate into Lightsource Labs’ Virtual Power Plant (VPP) to respond to UK Power Networks and WPD’s dispatch signals and schedules for flexibility.

“While our technology is designed to optimise assets to maximise solar self-consumption within the property to reduce energy bills, there’s clearly significant demand side response value it can provide distribution network operators and other utility partners outside the home,” comments Benjamin Kott, CEO at Lightsource Labs.

The flexibility services supplied to UK Power Networks will be across  20  zones in and around London and will be delivered from 2021 to 2028. Lightsource Labs will be installing Tribe alongside new and existing energy assets to deliver these services, with the first due to be delivered in November.

The services to Western Power Distribution will be across three constrained zones in Coventry, Witheridge and Ledbury from 2021 to 2022. In this case, Lightsource Labs will utilise its existing fleet of energy assets to deliver flexibility from July.

Tribe was developed as a Home Energy Management System (HEMS) to enable households to optimise the energy generated from their solar and storage systems and manage consumption.

The product consists of a simple hub and app. The hub’s machine-learning algorithms analyse energy consumption behaviour and optimise loads against price signals, carbon intensity profiles and weather forecasts. Through the app customers can monitor and manage solar panels, appliances and EV charging.

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