How BTM technologies will reshape the grid

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Behind-the-meter (BTM) technologies have fundamentally shifted the landscape for energy providers and network operators all over the world. Specifically, when it comes to energy forecasting, the uptake of technologies like electric vehicles (EVs) and residential solar photovoltaic (PV) systems have put electricity network operators in an unprecedented position.

This article was originally published in The Global Power & Energy Elites 2021.

They can no longer entirely rely on established demand patterns and conventional, top-down forecasting approaches. This new uncertainty drives network operators to focus on network reliability and efficiency. European operators have another consideration: The European Green Deal, a sweeping plan to become a climate-neutral continent by 2050. Completing the changes necessary to meet this goal will make accurate energy forecasting far more challenging, while simultaneously making it increasingly important.

NEW ENERGY FUTURE

UK-based Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) engaged with Innowatts, an energy SaaS platform, to deliver demand forecasts and scenario analysis for their southern distribution area. Forecasted data generated could inform future price setting and provide more insight into changing load patterns due to the increase in Low Carbon Technologies (LCTs) on the network.

SSEN’s main priority is to provide a safe and reliable supply of electricity to the communities they serve. In doing so, they are preparing for the influx of LCTs coming online and ensuring their network will be able to handle the increase in demand. The community impact of this project was the main driver, as SSEN’s clientele includes about three million homes and businesses across central southern England.

15-YEAR SCENARIO ANALYSIS

Innowatts began working on the project in April 2020, providing deliverables throughout May, June, and July 2020. For this project, Innowatts utilised its scenario analysis module, a tool that can analyse data from various sources to generate volumetric impacting insights on long-term load forecasts. With the move towards decarbonisation and decentralisation, as well as the proliferation of the LCTs, the tool was created to provide insight into how these trends will affect future grid requirements. It can help plan when and where to invest (and, equally, when and where not to invest) in electricity infrastructure.

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