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Audio Transcript: Fusion Project Video

The text below is the transcript from the Fusion Project Video.

Our energy landscape is changing rapidly.

Demand on the distribution network is increasing – particularly as we become more reliant on electricity for transport and heating.

A rising number of customers are also seeking to connect distributed generation – such as photovoltaics or wind turbines - to our network.

Traditionally, we respond to increasing demands like these by reinforcing the network to accommodate them.

But this takes time and has significant costs.

We therefore need to find smarter, more agile and cost-effective ways to manage our network as it is now being asked to do things it was never built for. 

We can go a long way to solving these challenges by working directly with our customers to make our network more flexible.

This means rewarding our customers for playing a role in helping to balance local generation and demand.

Through trials in St Andrews and East Fife, SP Energy Networks’ FUSION project seeks to demonstrate how the introduction of a local demand-side flexibility market can help the Distribution System Operator to better manage their network.

The FUSION Project will trial the creation of an online interactive platform that allows DSO’s to signpost local network requirements to the market, and then purchase customer flexibility to alleviate localized network congestion.

This approach of utilising flexibility represents a new kind of interaction with our customer.

The online platform will advertise network ‘flexibility’ requirements.

Aggregators – i.e. those who represent smaller flexibility providers - and larger commercial operators, agricultural business or prosumers can then respond to these needs with a bid to sell their available capacity.

Examples of ways in which the successful bidders could provide flexibility include temporarily;

reducing their grid electricity consumption to lessen their demand on the network,

activating local generation assets to provide additional local supply; or

Switching to consuming energy from an on-site source of storage or generation, and therefore freeing up capacity on the network.

In return for voluntarily operating their assets in this ‘flexible’ way, the bidders could generate an income whilst providing a critical service to our network.

Trading will adhere to the protocol set out in the Universal Smart Energy Framework – an internationally recognised standard for trading flexibility.

By unlocking the value of our customers’ flexibility, Project FUSION seeks to defer or avoid the costs for these reinforcements.

Demonstrating how local flexibility markets can provide a fast and cost-effective tool will help the DSO to actively manage its network, and deliver a better future, quicker for our customers.

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