The project seeks to test different smart charging market mechanisms and as such more than one trial is required to run in parallel. The scale of the project is also defined by the work required to develop new suitable customer proposition and innovative commercial arrangements. While all market stakeholders agree that a market-led approach to smart charging is favourable, they cannot pick a single market mechanism as the most appropriate one at this stage. As such, and since LV flexibility products and a market-led approach to smart charging providing flexibility to DNOs are at their infancy, a smaller scale will not be suitable to stimulate the market and gather enough evidence to inform future decisions.
This project aims to:
Smart charging has the potential to unlock flexibility that will help defer reinforcement. The SmartCAR project has shown that market led approaches to smart charging have the ability to provide the necessary response to network needs. This project will investigate how market led approaches can work in practise and specifically, how DNOs can enable the market to manage smart charging in response to price signals.
Smart charging trials to date in the UK have been focused on an interim solution of a DNO-led intervention to protect LV networks at risk of overload due to increasing EV connections. These projects have not investigated a longer-term solution due to the pressing need for progress on the interim solution, and also due to the fact that various critical wider industry questions are still unanswered. The SmartCAR NIA project has developed feasible designs for market-led smart charging. However, this has not yet been demonstrated in practice, therefore it is now the time to engage with the market and mobilise trials to explore how these designs will work in reality, and to deploy the smart solutions required on network level to enable smart charging.
Through completion of this project the following learnings are expected: