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Electric Miles helps develop smart grid for system operators and energy suppliers

Date – 28th May 2021

UK Power Networks (UKPN), the Distribution System Operator (DSO), has chosen Electric Miles to help deliver its smart grid that will increase the resilience of the network.

UKPN has awarded energy capacity contracts worth £30 million to 17 innovators in the energy, tech and car sector, including Electric Miles, making it the UK’s largest-ever ‘Flexibility’ tender.

As part of a seven-year contract, Electric Miles will deliver up to 20 MW of grid-balancing flexibility across London and the South East through its innovative electric vehicles (EV) charging software.

Electric Miles has already secured earlier flexibility contracts with UKPN and another with Western Power Distribution and Scottish Power Energy Networks (SPEN) to provide flexibility across the Midlands and Wales.

Arun Anand, founder and CEO of Electric Miles said: “Thank you to UK Power Networks for trusting in a young start-up like Electric Miles by awarding us a follow up to the initial contract with the opportunity to serve customers in highly constrained areas. We have already kicked off a pilot on our initial contract as part of the Intraflex project in partnership with Offgrid Energy”

“Our Electric Miles app will make it possible for customers to optimise the charging needs of their electric vehicle leveraging the UKPN flexibility contracts. It’s essential to have our ears close to the ground to learn from this early experience to deliver a great product that can remove the friction between the EV drivers and the electricity network and democratise the energy market. This project is helping to prove the capability of our platform in the real world.”

The company says it is on a mission to help with the transition to the Grid of the future. Its app-based software allows users to charge their cars or home batteries at the cheapest possible time, while taking demand off the grid at peak times. App users can cut the cost of charging, or share the benefits by charging at the right time, while also reducing the impact of EV charging on the environment.

As part of the trial, Electric Miles is recruiting drivers in specific areas who want to participate in this new and exciting journey.  Anand says, “We are building seamless integration with the energy ecosystem. EV drivers or fleets can register on our intelligent platform that matches the drivers to our contract and we will share the benefits.”.

What’s clever about the Electric Miles Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution is that it can prioritise charging when more renewables are on the Grid so helping companies achieve their own carbon savings. However, the app also ensures vehicles are properly charged for when they are needed.

Software solutions, like those provided by Electric Miles, are seen as a key requirement for the EV revolution. Network operators are facing a charging nightmare as more electric cars and vans hit the roads. It’s predicted there will be 4.5 million electric vehicles across London, the South East and East of England by 2030. If all of those vehicles were to charge at the same time the Grid wouldn’t be able to cope causing severe blackouts.

Anand explains, “We are working with energy suppliers by developing EV tariffs that can work in conjunction with our SMART app to help automate the charging experience by shifting demand on the network from peak times to low. Using the Intelligence of the EM platform, we will enable network operators to avoid costly upgrades of the Grid, particularly in congested areas like cities. It’s cheaper to pay for the flexibility that we can offer than to reinforce the network.”

Stuart Lloyd-Evans from Electric Miles says, “We’re pleased our SaaS solution has been recognised as a valuable asset in the UK’s journey to a Net Zero future by 2050.  Not only can we help DSOs reduce their reinforcing costs through our grid balancing services but we also give our users ways to save money and share the benefits.”

Sul Alli, director of strategy and customer services at UK Power Networks, said: “Britain is leading the world at harnessing the power of all these electric vehicle batteries that are going to be connected and using them for the public good. Three years ago, this market didn’t exist and now it’s offering as much capacity as a gas-fired power station. We’re working with some of the most exciting start-ups out there, and we’re proving it in the real world. There’s a long way to go and no silver bullet, but the way we’re using technology and data is going to be a big part of the answer to meeting the challenge of reaching Net Zero.”

Electric Miles is looking for EV drivers to join them – You can register your interest to participate here.