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, the initial investment for the Norwich Virtual Energy Community will be in the form of 20 domestic solar PV and battery storage combinations. The output from these assets will be supplemented by generation output from assets owned by Anglian Water, which is commonly subject to constraints and conventional grid supplies. Within the longer-term scope – through the creation of a local energy economy – the project seeks to engage with other commercial property owners and generation asset owners to enrich the number and variety of assets that could form a virtual power plant on a city-wide scale. The municipality could then potentially engage in the flexibility market and generate additional revenues for the city.
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.