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Future-proofing EV expansion: meet the CHARGE team at Smarter Tomorrow

A UK first: hear from the private and local authority partners who are merging transport and electricity network planning to create a road map for public EV infrastructure

18 July 2019
The CHARGE project will try to find the best way to charge vehicles at public venues, service stations and at homes that do not have their own driveways
The CHARGE project will try to find the best way to charge vehicles at public venues, service stations and at homes that do not have their own driveways

 

Smarter Tomorrow 2019, held in Liverpool on 23 and 24 October, will host a workshop and presentations outlining the first updates from a £8.5m project to accelerate the wide-scale adoption of electric vehicles across Merseyside, Cheshire, north Shropshire and north Wales.

The CHARGE project will try to find the best way to charge vehicles at public venues, service stations and at homes that do not have their own driveways, for example flats, apartments and terraced streets. Working with local authorities, it will help them to plan and future-proof investment, and so enable the easier and cheaper connection of higher numbers of EV chargers to the electricity networks. 

See the latest speakers, exhibitors and activities at Smarter Tomorrow 2019

The energy regulator Ofgen awarded £6.85m from its Network Innovation Competition fund to the CHARGE project, led by SP Energy Networks, which will help meet ambitious climate change and air pollution targets across SP Energy Network’s Manweb area. The remaining investment of £1.65m will be met by SP Energy Networks and its partners, including Smarter Grid Solutions (SGS), traffic software provider PTV Group and consultancy and technology firm EA Technology.

CHARGE will, for the first time in Britain, merge transport and electricity network planning to create an over-arching map of where EV charge points will be required, and where they can be accommodated by the electricity grid. Project partners and local authorities will explore correlations between the road network and the electricity network, which currently are not well understood.

'Where there is transport capacity, it does not necessarily mean there is electrical capacity as these networks have, in the past, developed entirely independently of each other, says Scott Mathieson, SP Energy Networks Director of Network Planning and Regulation.

'Where there is transport capacity, it does not necessarily mean there is electrical capacity as these networks have, in the past, developed entirely independently of each other, says Scott Mathieson, SP Energy Networks Director of Network Planning and Regulation.

'CHARGE will aim to put these two networks together and find an optimal solution for EV drivers and improved ways to deliver network flexibility.'

Liverpool City Council’s cabinet member for air quality, Councillor James Noakes, said: 'Liverpool City Council is delighted to be a key partner with SP Energy Networks for their innovative project CHARGE. More people are realising the benefit of electric vehicles as well as recognising the impact their choice of travel has on us all. We are looking forward to working with SP Energy Networks to deliver some of the infrastructure for this project. Electric vehicles can play a role in our Let’s Clear the Air Liverpool plan to reduce air pollution and make the city a better place, where the environment for walking and cycling is improved as well.'

Several smart charging solutions will be explored, including staggered charging on a street-by-street basis, timed charging schedules and controlling charging rates based on network measurements.

Other prospective solutions include tying the chargers to electricity storage batteries within homes, and linking them to flexible and low carbon technologiessuch as solar panels, wind turbines or utility-scale batteries connected to the wider grid.

It is hoped that the project’s learning will also be extended to SP Energy Networks’ central and southern Scotland licence area and possibly across Great Britain.

Frank Mitchell, CEO of SP Energy Networks, said: 'For the first time in Britain, we will merge the disciplines of transport planning and electricity network planning to discover where charge points will be required and how the network would be impacted by them.

'CHARGE will use information from transport planning software which maps driver behaviour and journey details when new roads are planned. SP Energy Networks hopes to predict where customers are likely to need EV charge points and judge the likely demand on the grid.'

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