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This project ended in Apr 2019 and is now closed.Dismiss

Industrial & Commercial Storage

Funding mechanismNetwork Innovation Allowance (NIA)
DurationAug 2016 - Apr 2019
Project expenditure1.1 million
Research areaEnergy Storage and Demand Response
  • South West
  • South Wales
  • West Midlands
  • East Midlands
  • January 2019

    Investigation work continues on WPD Taunton, following recent power outages during real-time events. Taunton has now been temporarily removed from backup fun…


Investigate the use of Industrial & Commercial storage on WPD’s network in order to: 

  1. Defer Investment - Network reinforcement can be too expensive and requires a vast amount of time to respond to low carbon technology (LCT) connections into the low voltage (LV) network; 
  2. Alleviate constraints on the distribution system by reducing demand peaks -Allowing transmission and distribution operators to invest, use and exploit energy storage services to strengthen flexibility, reliability and resilience of the grids;
  3. Operate storage for local energy management for triad avoidance;
  4. Maximising on-site consumption;
  5. Grid balancing and other ancillary services, in isolation or in co-operation with other regulated and non-regulated entities; 
  6. Clarifying and streamlining the position of storage in different regulatory environments (behind-the-meter, third party service, grid operation);
  7. Assessing the consequences and opportunities of different regulatory options concerning smart grids and proposing a harmonised approach; and
  8. Access to flexible markets - The results of all of this work will hopefully combine to open up the market for storage and for flexibility solutions within the electricity system which are a really important part of how we move to a decarbonised electricity system at least cost to the consumer.



With the growth in all types of low carbon generation, such as wind and solar PV, and the introduction of new demand technologies such as EVs and HPs, WPD’s electricity network is expected to see unprecedented swings between peaks and troughs of energy usage in localised areas. Part of WPD’s approach to this challenge has been to look at new and more flexible ways to design, optimise and manage the network in the future. 

In the past, network operators have used conventional reinforcement to deal with constraints. Network reinforcement can be too expensive and time consuming to respond to LCT connections into the LV network. Due to uncertainties in volume, location and type of LV connections, it is not always possible or efficient for WPD to plan network reinforcement ahead of need. However, when the need does arise, network reinforcement is too costly and can take too long to deploy, delaying customers’ connections to the network. Storage is an opportunity to help and not to hinder. Through this project it may become possible to develop Alternative Connections for Storage that would operate in a grid friendly way thereby giving customers more connection options. Storage connections will require technical policies to be drafted.

The deployment of Storage devices will provide incentives to I&C Customers through overall reduction in power consumption. Customers would receive offsetting reductions in retail electricity costs from storage in the form of deferred investments, refunds from the wholesale market auction proceeds, and reduced power purchase costs, triad avoidance and lower future DUoS charges due to the reduced reinforcement requirements. Customers would additionally benefit through increased system reliability from avoided distribution outages. Other customer benefits include improved power quality and customer-side renewable energy usage. 


The project will be delivered in the following seven overlapping stages defined in three work packages:

  1. Selection of the areas for the trial;
  2. Identification of the type and size of the storage devices; 
  3. Mobilisation (procurement of equipment and services);
  4. Trials or field tests (install equipment);
  5. Connection Agreements;
  6. Policy on depot equipment; and
  7. Analysis and Close Down (Analyse results, evaluate I&C Storage solution).