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UKPNs’ Optimise Prime to deliver range of benefits

Neil Mearns Analyst

UK Power Networks’ (UKPNs’) Optimise Prime project was awarded £16.4mn from Ofgem’s Network Innovation Competition in November 2018. The project aims to understand the charging patterns of commercial (fleet) electric vehicles (EVs) and their impact on networks. The project, which involves two distribution network operator groups, is being undertaken for UKPN by a consortium led by Hitachi, including Royal Mail, Centrica, Uber, and SSE Networks. It seeks to answer: how the network impact of commercial EVs can be quantified and minimised what the value proposition for smart solutions for EV fleets and private hire vehicle operators is, and what infrastructure is needed to enable the EV transition. UKPN claims that the project will deliver over £485mn in direct financial benefits, release 3,188MVA of connection capacity, and result in over 4.2mn tCO2e savings by 2050. The chart sets out the benefits to 2050, with Method 1 being smart demand response for commercial EVs on domestic connections and Method 2 being depot energy optimisation and planning tools for profiled connections. In March, Hitachi publicised the project, confirming that 2019 will see London and the South East play host to Optimise Prime. Internet of Things technology will track the driving and charging activity of up to 3,000 commercial vehicles and the resulting dataset will be made publicly available to help planners, engineers and vehicle operators to prepare for EVs. The supply of so many EVs in a short timeframe will be a milestone achievement, with UKPN seeking wider benefits through instigating flexibility measures. ...

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