First phase of Thames Valley Live Lab goes live

The first phase of  the Thames Valley Live Lab has started, to help local authorities to move towards net zero carbon emissions. 

The project is being delivered by Smarter Grid Solutions (SGS) and will bring together companies including O2,  Siemens and engineering consultancy Stantec with six local authorities..

The local authorities are working on eight projects to introduce digital innovation across SMART mobility, transport, highways maintenance, data, energy and communications. Live Labs is part of ADEPT’s SMART Places programme to support the use of digital technology in place-based services.

The platform has gone live with energy assets from the first two councils – Reading Borough Council and Wokingham Borough Council – connecting to the system in the coming two months. The platform will monitor and manage solar panels, electric vehicle charging points and other flexible electrical equipment at the local authorities’ facilities. The Live Labs system is based on SGS’s ANM Strata fleet distributed energy resources management system (DERMS) to create the Smart Energy Operations Platform (SEOP).

The cloud-based SEOP will schedule when the assets should be operated to save money, reduce CO2 emissions, and manage local authority owned Distributed Energy Resources (DER) across the sites. Functionalities include setting EV charge rates and being able to remotely schedule building energy usage and EV charging point operation.

Data will also be fed into other parts of the Thames Valley Live Lab project, which cover health, mobility, and transport.

SGS expects the data from the energy component of the project to influence those other important service areas in the Live Lab project.

Graham Ault, executive director and co-founder of SGS, said: “A big challenge lies ahead for local authority energy managers, who will have to plan, implement, and operate net-zero carbon energy in the coming years.

“Our ANM Strata platform provides the basis to manage and track net-zero energy, while underpinning cost savings through better power grid integration and new energy market opportunities including new technical services, network flexibility, and system balancing.

“SGS’s mission is to provide the software systems to address the three Ds of energy systems – decarbonisation, decentralization, and digitalisation.

“This Thames Valley Live Lab brings together all three of those strands, allowing carbon-free electricity generated on-site by solar panels to be controlled and used for emission free transport using digital technology.It is now possible to scale low carbon technology deployments up to really significant levels and capture all the energy and flexibility benefits for a local authority area.”

Simon Beasley, network and parking manager at Reading Borough Council and Live Lab project lead, added: “Having a system that can control when and how solar panels, electric vehicle charging points and other energy assets operate is a game changer.

“We’ll be able to save money, reduce our CO2 emissions, and better manage our energy across our sites.

“The data that will be generated by this part of the project will also play a wider role in improving the lives of people living and working in Reading and the surrounding area.

“Having this rich data on our energy assets will help to influence how we develop the transport, mobility, and even health areas of the Live Lab project and local authority operations thereafter.”

The four other participating councils – Bracknell Forest Council, the Royal Borough of Windsor, Slough Borough Council, and West Berks Council – will connect assets to the project over the course of the coming year.

About ADEPT SMART Places Live Labs programme

The ADEPT SMART Places Programme is a five-year project examining and developing innovation to enable the adoption of innovative and digital technology across the local highway network. The initial research report Digital Innovation: The route to the highways systems of the future’ was published in October 2017. In January 2019, ADEPT secured £22.9m funding from the Department of Transport for Phase 3 of the programme, which will see the development of eight individual Live Labs projects led by local authorities with university and private sector partners. The Live Labs are piloting innovation across SMART communications, transport, highways maintenance, energy, materials and mobility.

For more info visit adeptnet.org.uk/livelabs

 

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