Smarter Grid Solutions connects four sites under the ADEPT SMART Places Live Lab program

The Cirrus Flex DERMS platform from Smarter Grid Solutions was used for the project. Picture: SGS.

Smarter Grid Solutions (SGS) and its partners have hailed a milestone in ADEPT’s (Association of Environmental, Economic, Planning and Transportation Managers) SMART Places Live Lab program, as four sites equipped with photovoltaic solar installations are connected.

The two-year, £22.9m project is funded by the Department for Transport and is designed to explore smart energy management systems for electric vehicle (EV) charging at key sites in the Council of the Thames Valley to inform its net zero planning.

West Berkshire Council’s head office and Northcroft Leisure Center in Newbury, Willink School in Burghfield Common and Building 150, a warehouse on a former military base, all of which have solar photovoltaic installations, are now all connected to the using Cirrus Flex Distributed Energy Resource Management from SGS. system (DERMS).

The council will now be able to monitor and analyze the amount of energy generated at the sites.

“Connecting all four West Berkshire Council sites to our smart energy platform is a key milestone for the Thames Valley Live Lab,” said Ben Kirley, Project Manager at SGS.

“This pilot project is a signpost for the future, when municipalities will be able to manage their energy production and consumption across multiple sites using a single platform. This is essential if boards are to achieve their net zero goals, while reducing costs to ratepayers. »

Since commissioning in 2020, the solar photovoltaic installations at the council’s headquarters and building 150 have already generated a combined 122 MWh of electricity.

Additionally, SGS is working with neighboring Reading Borough Council to monitor its solar PV and EV charging sites, seeking to monitor and interact with wider grid services.

The Thames Valley Live Lab project recently ended, with work underway to explore how it can be scaled up to increase benefits for local councils.

“Our Live Lab is starting to provide some of the answers that [local authorities] need to manage their fleets of electric vehicles, building management systems, solar panels and other renewable energy devices,” said James Crosbie of the Thames Valley Live Lab project.

“The next steps will be for councils participating in our Live Lab to begin managing their energy using the technology that was developed and implemented during this pilot project.

ADEPT was backed by Atkins from SNC-Lavalin, EY, Kier, O2, Ringway and WSP. Nine local authorities have been involved in its work, aimed at bringing digital innovation to mobility, transport, data and other areas including energy with Live Labs being part of the SMART Places arm of ADEPT .

SGS was acquired by Mitsubishi Electric Corporation and Mitsubishi Electric Power Products in 2021, and is involved in a number of smart energy management projects in the UK, including Project QUEST, Project Charge and Project Microresilience.