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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S003088/1
Title: AGILE - Aggregators as diGital Intermediaries in Local Electricity markets: EPSRC/ESC Follow on Funding
Principal Investigator: Varga, Professor LE
Other Investigators:
Clarkson, Professor J Galloway, Professor S Bunn, Professor DW
Irvine, Dr J Hu, Dr Y
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Dr J Nieto-Martin Dr B Stephen
Project Partners:
Electron ELEXON Ltd IBM UK Ltd
National Grid Ofgem Scottish Power
SunContract UK Power Networks
Department: Civil Environmental and Geomatic Eng
Organisation: UCL
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 December 2018 Ends: 31 May 2021 Value (£): 719,499
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Sustainable Energy Vectors
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
13 Jun 2018 Engineering Prioritisation Panel Meeting 13 and 14 June 2018 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
There has been a huge investment in micro generation from both customers and small scale providers, particularly in residential PV. Individual participation of these assets (offers to buy/sell/store energy) by micro/domestic scale agents in local, distributed electricity markets is currently a significant business and technological challenge in the UK's large-scale energy systems. A solution to enable energy trading between small scale generators and consumers that provides a compelling business case for storage and further penetration of embedded renewables is essential.

New aggregators, that is, new market players who are highly adaptable in terms of dynamically organising Distributed Energy Resources (DERs), are emerging to provide a retail service to distributed groups of customers who could not manage to act in the energy market on their own. These aggregators would deal with requirements of the wider energy system by utilising diverse and multiple low carbon and renewable technologies for generation and storage to provide local/micro-grid solutions. However, there are significant barriers to the emergence of such entities which can be overcome by adoption of contemporary digital technologies.

Our AGILE proposal sets out an integrated digital solution which can deliver suitable mechanisms to allow aggregators to offer the wider energy market bundled DER services of particular duration and value. To allow this, the preferences and descriptions of DERs, which form smart, micro contracts, will be articulated using an agent based model. Bids and offers will be enabled through integration with Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs) which will provide a trustworthy implementation of the scheme through a distributed database trusted by all agents. AGILE will examine the synergies between several permissioned, public, and hybrid DLTs as there are key questions about which type of ledger and related services is best for this elastic aggregator approach.

An optimisation model will recommend particular configurations of DERs satisfying several portfolio optimisation strategies (financial, environmental and social welfare). The validation of preferred configurations of DERs is an essential step to ensure the feasibility of DER incorporation and a digitised, stylised IEEE network will be integrated into the digital solution to achieve this. Validation using a range of realistic network topologies will be performed to evaluate the effect on aggregator business models.

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