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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/Y005376/1
Title: Virtual Power Plant with Artificial Intelligence for Resilience and Decarbonisation (VPP-WARD)
Principal Investigator: SUN, Professor H
Other Investigators:
Xiao, Professor S Matthews, Dr PC Kazemtabrizi, Dr B
Faramarzi, Professor A Shahbazi, Dr M Du, Dr H
Jindal, Dr A Aujla, Dr G Kiprakis, Professor A
Osman, Professor AS Metje, Professor N Tsaftaris, Professor S
Kirli, Dr D JIANG, Dr J Mahmud, Dr M
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
CFMS Services Ltd DNV Services UK Limited Durham County Council
Equinor UK Ltd Kinewell Energy Mithrasol ltd
National Grid Northern Powergrid Northumbrian Water Group plc
Siemens TNEI Services Limited
Department: Engineering
Organisation: Durham, University of
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 01 May 2023 Ends: 31 March 2025 Value (£): 1,845,327
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Artificial Intelligence Bioenergy
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Energy
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
28 Mar 2023 AI for Net Zero Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) are small, modular energy generation and storage units, e.g., wind turbines, photovoltaics, batteries, and electric vehicles, that could be connected directly to the power distribution network. DERs play a critical role in achieving Net Zero. Presently there are over 1 million homes with solar panels in the UK. With the green energy transition well under way in the UK, by 2050 there could be tens of millions of DERs connected to the UK power grid.

Although DERs have many benefits, e.g., a reduced carbon footprint and improved energy affordability, they present complex challenges for network operators (e.g., low DER visibility, bi-directional power flow, and voltage anomalies), creating a major barrier to Net Zero. Meanwhile, natural hazards and extreme events are an increasing threat not only to humans but also power grid resilience - a direct impact is the power cuts, e.g., Storms "Dudley", "Eunice" and "Franklin" in February 2022 left over a million homes without electricity.

How best to manage millions of DERs is still an open question, especially for improving the grid resilience to natural hazards and extreme events, e.g., storms and heatwaves. This project will develop innovative physics-informed Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions for enabling Virtual Power Plants (VPP), capable of aggregating and managing many diverse DERs; not only improving decision-making for network operators but also enhancing the grid resilience to natural hazards and extreme events. These could also lead to reduced energy bills for millions of UK energy consumers, less power cuts during extreme events, to greater adoption and more efficient management of DERs, and ultimately to enable rapid progress towards Net Zero.

Key Findings
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