Smarter Norwich

Smarter Norwich is the umbrella project that will coordinate and integrate other Norwich projects in pursuit of a longer-term vision called Smart Energy Norwich 2030 (SEN2030). At the moment, there is no city-wide distributed energy resource (DER) integration for coordinated development for a local flexibility market. The aim is to create a local energy market, which can be used to support Norwich and the wider networks, address fuel poverty through community benefit and cheaper power, and attract inward investment to the Norwich and Norfolk area.

Norwich Virtual Energy Community

Part of the SEN 2030 vision, Norwich Virtual Energy Community (NVEC) will demonstrate the benefits of allowing more than one supplier to sell energy to the same household. NVEC will initially deploy around 50kW of domestic solar panels and 30kW of domestic batteries on 10 sites across Norwich and North Norfolk. Energy generated by the solar arrays will be used by the host households or stored in the batteries. Other participants in the scheme will then have a chance to purchase this energy for their own use via a bulleting board.

The project is facilitated by a process described in Balancing and Settlement Company Elexon’s white paper Enabling Customers to Buy Power from Multiple Providers in April. This paper sets out a vision for a new market structure which could allow multiple supplier parties to deliver energy through a single meter, which is impossible in the current market. This process will be handled by the Customer Notification Agent (CNA) in the Balancing and Settlement Code (BSC) central systems, notifying the allocation of the metered volume among the various supplier parties registered to the meter in each half-hourly settlement period.

Under our proposal the CNA role will be undertaken by project partner e-POWER, the power purchase agreement auction provider. e-POWER will provide an algorithm which compares total energy passing through the customer’s meter in each half-hourly settlement period to the energy provided by various suppliers, ensuring that each receives the correct allocation in the settlement process. Project partner Green Star Energy, meanwhile, will provide participants with a balancing tariff testing time-of-use rates and will fit smart meters to track energy import and export from the sites. It will also exercise operational control of the batteries. Other project partners include New Anglia Energy, Powervault, Lux Nova and Norwich City Council.

Pixie Energy is managing the project and intends to apply for derogations to test the CNA process through the innovation sandbox proposed under BSC modification P362, Introducing BSC Arrangements to Facilitate an Electricity Market Sandbox. This is currently with Ofgem, whose decision on the matter is expected shortly.

Western Cluster

The Western Cluster project is comprised of three large energy centres in the west of Norwich, and could potentially realise connected heat and power networks to optimise shared DERs. Potentially, the project also offers a demonstration environment for innovative market mechanisms and transactive technologies like blockchain to be tested within a regulatory sandbox.

Northern Distributor Road

The Norwich Northern Distributor Road (NDR) is a 20-kilometre dual carriageway, whose ongoing construction is scheduled for completion in late 2018. Norwich also currently has six Park and Ride (PnR) schemes spread around the outskirts of the city, one of which is located at the Postwick end of the NDR. The primary objectives of the NDR project will be to promote renewable, low-carbon electricity generation in a manner that benefits businesses and households, and to pursue innovative distributed energy solutions that can be applied across the county as a whole.

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