Norwich Virtual Energy Community

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 trial the implementation of real-world assets using a “multiple supplier” model – the ability for more than one energy supply company to provide service through the same registered meter. Originally targeted at domestic households, the project is being expanded to include non-domestic buildings as well.

As part of this real-world trial, Pixie Energy will be installing solar panels and batteries at various premises in and around Norwich. We are also progressing changes to market rules to test a process described in Balancing and Settlement Company Elexon’s white paper Enabling Customers to Buy Power from Multiple Providers.

The paper sets out a vision for a new market structure, that could allow multiple supplier parties to deliver energy through a single meter, which is not possible in real-time under the current market. This process will be handled by a new intermediary the Customer Notification Agent (CNA) supporting the central trading systems, notifying the allocation of delivered metered volumes among the various supplier parties through the single meter. Our modification P379 Multiple Suppliers through Meter Splitting, proposed by New Anglia Energy, passed initial written assessment at the BSC Panel on 10 January.

Under our proposal the CNA role will be undertaken by project partner e-POWER, who already operates a trading platform for offtake power contracts. Supplier Green Star Energy, meanwhile, will provide participants with a balancing or default tariff testing time-of-use rates and will fit smart meters to track energy import and export from sites. It will also exercise operational control of the batteries installed behind the meter. Other project partners include New Anglia Energy, Powervault, Lux Nova and Norwich City Council.

Pixie Energy is managing the project. We expect it will run for two years from 1 April 2019.