Image: Smarter Grid Solutions

Six Thames Valley local authorities are investigating smart energy management and its linkages to other sectors in their move towards net zero carbon emissions.

Energy assets from the first two participating authorities, Reading and Wokingham, are connecting to the energy management system in the coming two months.

The Smart Energy Operations Platform (SEOP) from UK-based software specialist Smarter Grid Solutions will monitor and manage solar panels, electric vehicle (EV) charging points and other flexible electrical equipment at the local authorities’ facilities.

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The cloud-based SEOP will schedule when the assets should be operated to save money, reduce carbon emissions and manage the distributed energy resources across the sites. Functionalities include setting EV charge rates and being able to remotely schedule building energy usage and the charging point operation.

Data will also be fed into other parts of the Thames Valley Live Lab project, which cover health and mobility.

“Having a system that can control when and how solar panels, EV charging points and other energy assets operate is a game changer. We’ll be able to save money, reduce our CO2 emissions, and better manage our energy across our sites,” says Simon Beasley, network and parking manager at Reading Borough Council and Live Lab project lead.

The Thames Valley Live Lab is a ‘smart city’ type project investigating the use of big data and analytics in providing insights across energy, transport and health to support the local authorities to move towards net zero carbon emissions. The project was awarded £4.75 million in 2019 as part of the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning & Transport (ADEPT) SMART Places Live Labs Programme.

Project partners include Siemens, SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins project management business and telco provider O2. The University of Reading is the academic partner.

The four other participating councils, Bracknell, Windsor, Slough and West Berks, will connect their assets to the project over the course of the coming year.

The SEOP is based on Smarter Grid Solutions’ ANM Strata fleet distributed energy resources management system (DERMS).