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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/M506722/1
Title: EMpower
Principal Investigator: Sumner, Professor M
Other Investigators:
Gillott, Professor M
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Faculty of Engineering
Organisation: University of Nottingham
Scheme: Technology Programme
Starts: 01 July 2014 Ends: 31 December 2015 Value (£): 148,367
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Energy Efficiency
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The UK peak electricity operating margin is at historic lows and DECC are looking to incentivise reductions in peak demand. Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) are looking at peak demand limits to reduce investment for network reinforcement. EMPower will develop a technology solution, which enables communities to improve their energy efficiency by co-operatively scheduling electricity usage and using local generation and storage. The technology will enable communities to secure revenue by offering the electricity market a reduced peak demand on the UK supply to realise significant savings on electricity bills through maximising the use of electricity generation and storage on site, and through automated shifting of loads to achieve the greatest community benefit. The solution needs to be customer-focussed to

maximise participation, minimise disruption and provide benefits that directly relate to current and future customer needs. Our solution to this is to tackle the challenges of peak demand reduction at a community level providing greater cost benefits to customers and a more robust and low-risk business case for DNOs.

The major benefit of the proposed solution to the DNOs and National Grid will be capacity for peak load reduction and limiting the need for traditional and expensive grid reinforcement. We will work with DNOs to construct commercial frameworks to reward communities that limit their peak demand, and develop the delivery vehicle for this finance incentive to determine the potential for wider application. Our 18-month project will prepare the solution for market in 2016 when we expect rising electricity prices, the threat of peak-time power cuts, electric vehicles and maturity of electricity storage to make our solution attractive.

Our project will pilot our technology solution through partnership with Bath and West Community Energy (BWCE). This pilot project will provide greatest benefit within the timescale and budget by focusing specifically on demonstrating the value of the management of on-site solar PV generation in conjunction with battery storage and load shifting to provide a reduction on grid demands during peak periods. This first release of the product will demonstrate the commercial case, prove the technology with real customers and a real community, and provide the foundation for a progressive product enhancement and development strategy as the market develops.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk