Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution has established partnerships with Dundee City Council, Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council to trial novel tools that will help Council Planners locate energy assets by collaborating and sharing data with utility companies.
With the uptake of low carbon transport and heating, local authorities are finding themselves in the driving seat to plan the infrastructure that will support those choices. The Regional Energy System Optimisation Planning (RESOP) Project is taking a ‘whole system’ approach, by drawing together data from multiple sources into a single tool that can be used to plan the roll out of low carbon technologies (LCTs) such as charging points for electric vehicles. This will help local authorities by enabling LCTs to be sited in cost effective locations whilst providing early warning to SSEN of additional demand on the network.
The RESOP project shows constraints on the network, allowing local authorities to make better informed decisions about the placement of new energy assets. A constraint is where the electricity network is unable to transmit power from the point of generation or to the location of demand, due to congestion at one or more parts of the network. RESOP is developing the intuitive LAEP+ tool which will use a straightforward traffic light system in response to a ‘click and drag’ operation by the planning team in a local authority, to show whether a new energy asset could be accommodated on the existing network.
The LAEP+ tool is currently being trialled by Dundee City Council and by Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council, through the County Council’s spatial mapping work in Project LEO (Local Energy Oxfordshire). LEO is SSEN’s flagship innovation project, seeking to accelerate the UK’s transition to a zero-carbon electricity system.
Rhys Williams, Innovation Project Manager for RESOP said:
“The RESOP project is the first of its kind, showcasing the benefits of data sharing and collaboration between utilities and local councils to produce cost effective energy solutions that will help pave the way to net zero.
“As the operator of electricity distribution infrastructure, our work sits at the heart of the transition to net zero. SSEN is focused on sharing the data that allows the best ‘whole system’ solution to be identified that supports local communities in their transition to net zero.”
Inga Doherty, Project LEO Lead for Oxfordshire County Council said:
“We’re delighted to be working with SSEN to develop the LAEP+ tool in Project LEO. The whole system approach will help us make the most cost-effective decisions to support the local transition to net zero.”
Bryan Harris, Sustainability and Climate Change Manager, Dundee City Council said:
“The City of Dundee continues to take a leading role in the transition to net zero. Ensuring that the right low carbon investment decisions we make today will put us on the best footing for this challenge. We’re therefore delighted to be working in partnership with SSEN to develop the RESOP tool which will take a ‘whole systems’ overview of the energy networks in our city and underpin the new Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategy.”
RESOP is funded by £343,000 from Ofgem's Network Innovation Allowance (NIA).