Partnership will implement “the UK’s biggest Virtual Power Plant”
Energy company SSE and electric vehicle (EV) smart charging service provider Jedlix have signed a deal that they say will deliver grid balancing services from EVs, harnessing smart charging technology to better manage grid supply and demand.
With the UK’s electricity network increasingly reliant on renewable energy assets, the partnership will allow domestic customers with EV charging to provide flexibility into the balancing market at times of system need, while reducing their energy bills.
Latest figures (August 2021) show that there were more than 600,000 plug-in vehicles registered in the UK. Last year saw the biggest annual increase in the number of registrations, with growth of 66 per cent compared to 2019.
Stephen Stead, Director of Strategy and Digital Services at SSE Energy Solutions, said:
“With now less than a decade until the ban on sales of fossil fueled vehicles, we’re seeing exponential growth of electric vehicles on the UK’s road. With transport responsible for nearly 30% of the nation’s carbon emissions, this is a vital and timely step if we’re to meet our collective 2050 net zero ambitions.
“The significant increase in EVs also has the added potential benefit of enhancing power generation – boosting the capacities of distributed and renewable energy resources across the country.
“Acting as a network of hundreds-of-thousands of mobile batteries, EVs can help reduce renewable energy assets’ dependency on traditional battery storage by creating a Virtual Power Plant that can provide the grid with greater system flexibility.
“Our milestone partnership with Jedlix will not only help tackle the grid balancing challenges faced by networks, but reward EV customers for enabling a more sustainable and robust energy system.”
Jedlix, from the Netherlands, is one of the leading smart charging service providers in Europe and has a growing number of car and charge point manufacturers integrated on its cloud platform. Its operation is fully automated in line with user settings, vehicle, and charger data. In return for their flexibility EV drivers are awarded a cashback on top of any savings they make on their energy bill.
SSE’s partnership will help Jedlix users and partners, such as car manufacturers and charge point operators, minimise costs through SSE’s access to the balancing mechanism. The partnership is the latest venture within SSE’s strategy to build a portfolio of distributed energy resources, to provide energy and grid services.
Looking ahead, the two companies envisage entering other flexibility markets such as providing services to the Distribution Network Operators – the firms that operate power lines and infrastructure.
Serge Subiron, CEO at Jedlix, said: “We are thrilled to have this cooperation with SSE, one of the leaders in the British energy sector. This has the potential to establish the largest VPP for EVs in the UK. By opening the capacity to bid on the balancing mechanism, we have the perfect set up to enable existing and new B2B platform partners and also local energy retailers.
“We welcome local innovators in the e-mobility and energy domain to join our initiative to make sure any EV driver charging in any situation can benefit from smart charging.”