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Regional Energy Systems Operator (RESO) project

Funding mechanismUKRI & WPD Funded
DurationJan 2020 - Dec 2021
Estimated expenditure£2.62 million
Research areaSmart Local Energy Systems

Objective(s)

This is a partnership project funded by UKRI, bringing together key infrastructure stakeholders and energy innovator organisations including WPD, Cadent, Energy Capital, Transport for the West Midlands and Coventry City Council. Our objectives are to:

  1. Design a smart local energy system for the city of Coventry, specifying an energy infrastructure vision for the city, suitable to meet future energy demands for power, heat and transport up to 2050
  2. Set out an operating model for this design
  3. Demonstrate the institutional and organisational framework necessary to secure and support the long-term investment required.

Problem(s)

Coventry is committed to the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, and as a region supporting the 2041 net zero targets as part of the West Midlands Combined Authority.

In order to drive synergy benefits from the whole energy system, RESO is bringing together the parties to understand how we can work together to deliver value for both energy customers and the city. The concept is that this will be achieved through more collaborative control and planning at a local level, enabling us to tailor local energy infrastructure at an optimised level for the city.

Method(s)

The RESO project is responding to local study findings that show that at a city level, there is significant value in improving coordination of activity across all aspects of energy to create the best outcome for the city.

The project takes a systematic approach to design thinking based on five key principles;

  1. Define
  2. Explore
  3. Ideate
  4. Prototype
  5. Evaluate/Validate

Partners take a co-creation approach to the project which has eight workstreams, each with their own workstream lead;

  1. Stakeholder engagement (Coventry City Council)
  2. Data (University of Birmingham)
  3. Smart Local Market Design (Electron)
  4. Energy Infrastructure Design (Enzen)
  5. Design validation (University of Warwick)
  6. Governance and institutional design (Energy Capital)
  7. Finance and Investment (Enzen)
  8. Project Management (Enzen)

Our proposed RESO design will include local low carbon energy generation, storage and management and will integrate future mobility assets such as electric vehicles into its overall envelope. This approach moves us away from the more traditional method of infrastructure reinforcement, towards using innovative technology to develop a smart local energy system