EDF Energy Networks in bid to develop smart grid for London


Boris Johnson,
Mayor of London
London, U.K. — (METERING.COM) — July 1, 2010 – U.K. utility EDF Energy Networks has submitted an initial bid to develop a smart electricity distribution network for London that would help the city cut its carbon emissions by 60 percent by 2025.

“Low Carbon London – A Learning Journey” is a major collaborative project that would involve working with communities and businesses to create a blueprint for a future electricity distribution system to support the government’s low carbon transition plan. The proposed project would encompass smart grid technologies and carbon cutting commercial arrangements to encourage customers to play a key role in helping to match London’s electricity demand with available low carbon electricity production. It would also look at ways to accommodate the anticipated growth in microgeneration while managing higher demand for electricity created by the switch to electric cars.

Funding for the project is being sought from Ofgem’s £500 million Low Carbon Networks Fund.

EDF Energy Networks plans to work with the Greater London Authority, the London Development Agency, Transport for London, and the Institute for Sustainability and other parties to introduce a series of measures in London, including installing new information and control systems to monitor and co-ordinate the electricity flowing in and out of the power grid and integrate local and renewable generation, including solar and wind.

New commercial arrangements would be explored to encourage business and commercial customers to use electricity more flexibly, for example by offering financial incentives to customers willing and able to reduce demand on request. This would free up network capacity for example, for electric vehicles to use the electricity network, and could help provide the necessary balancing services to mitigate the variability of wind generation.

The project would also support flagship programs introduced by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and would include installing smart meters in thousands of homes across ten low carbon zones that are being set up with the aim to reduce their carbon emissions by 20.12 percent by 2012. Under the goal to make London the electric car capital of Europe, 7,500 electric vehicle charging points are set to be delivered by spring 2013, with a target for 25,000 by 2015 supporting 100,000 electric vehicles, and smart control of charging points would be provided to avoid the need for network reinforcement and information gathered to inform future charging point deployment.

A “Low Carbon London Learning Laboratory” would capture and share information about the important role that electricity distribution companies will need to play in working with customers and partners to reduce CO2 emissions and drive real changes in electricity demand and local generation.

The Mayor has issued his support for the Low Carbon London bid, saying that he wants London to be a pioneer in the introduction of ingenious solutions to crack the environmental challenges being faced.

“The key to becoming a cleaner, less polluted and more energy efficient city is to utilize clever new technologies,” said Mayor Johnson. “We are pleased to support EDF Energy Networks’ bid, which if successful, will deliver significant funds to help us to accelerate the introduction of smart ways to improve Londoners’ quality of life.”

The full bids for the Low Carbon Networks Fund are due by September 3, 2010 and Ofgem is expected to announce the winning projects in early December.