FUSION flexibility project launches phase two in East Fife

20/05/2022

We have launched phase two of our FUSION trial in St Andrews, East Fife, using flexibility services to balance constraints on the electricity network. 

We are utilising our flexibility platform - provided by OpusOne Solutions - to manage real-life network constraints in the area. This follows the project's landmark achievement last year of delivering GB's first Universal Smart Energy Framework (USEF) compliant flexibility market, which has been live and operational since September 2021. 

This latest phase of the live trial will test enhanced functionality on the digital platform. Engie Power and Orange Power (known as ‘aggregators’) will continue to act on behalf of customers to trade their electricity consumption and generation ‘flexibility’ in this digital marketplace, in turn helping maintain the smooth and cost-effective running of the network in East Fife.

Customers are becoming increasingly dependent on their electricity supply as we make the transition to net zero, heightening the need to maintain and operate a network capable of supporting modern lifestyles. Innovative projects like FUSION allow for the network capacity to be maximised in a way that helps to defer or avoid the need for costly and time-consuming traditional reinforcement – in turn helping to keep costs as low as possible for customers.

Customers from the first phase of the FUSION trial, like the University of St Andrews who were able to be flexible with their demand across their entire campus, were able to take advantage of the commercial opportunity to participate whilst we sought to maximise the capabilities of our network.  

The FUSION project supports developing flexibility markets to help maintain and strengthen the resilience and security of the electricity network as demand increases for low carbon technologies like electric vehicles and electric heating systems. This presents commercial opportunities for flexibility providers and ‘aggregators’ to participate in the market and to be a part of the journey to decarbonise the energy system.

Graham Campbell, our Director of Processes & Technology, said: “Following the successful first phase of our FUSION project, we’re really pleased to launch phase two and to be using our learnings from phase one to help set the foundations for a greener future in the UK and beyond.

“We continue to see increasing volumes of low carbon technologies connecting to the electricity network resulting in increasing demand on our infrastructure. We’re committed to finding agile ways to meet this demand and flexibility allows us to do exactly that without the time and cost constraints of traditional network reinforcement.  

“We’re proud of the work we are doing in developing flexibility markets and how these can be used to deliver the network of the future for our customers and communities.”

Justin Ma, Director of Operations at Orange Power, said: “We’re pleased to see the FUSION project has really increased awareness and understanding of energy flexibility amongst customers, and that the its modern approach to commercial and residential demand flex has given us access to exciting innovation opportunities to reduce customer energy bills whilst helping balance the grid.  

“FUSION has enabled customers to participate in the flexibility market with minimum disturbance to lifestyle, and in fact will help to enable the increased uptake of low carbon technologies like electric vehicles and electric heating in our homes of the future. We are really looking forward to phase two of the project which is exploring further innovative methods to enable the best customer experience possible for those participating in grid flexibility.”

The University of St Andrews is one of the partners taking part in the second phase of the FUSION trial to help decarbonise the energy network.

Alexander Clark, Sustainability Services Manager at the University of St Andrews – a partner on the FUSION project - said: “The FUSION project has allowed the University of St Andrews to automatically identify and dispatch flexible capacity across their entire campus, and to commit to doing so for the long term. We’re pleased to be able to make this significant commitment to network decarbonisation.”

 

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