My Electric Avenue, Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution's (SSEPD) project studying the impact that recharging electric vehicles (EV) may have on the local electricity network, is the first of its kind in the United Kingdom. It promises to deliver real, significant benefits on both commercial and technical levels through the engagement of customers, distribution network operators (DNO), small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and companies new to the electricity industry, while pushing the currently accepted boundaries of innovation.
As sales of electric vehicles increase, there is a need to assess the potential impact that a cluster of EVs may have in a local area served by one electricity substation. In the event of all EVs being recharged at the same time, and without any preparation, the load on the local electricity network may exceed the substation capacity.
Project participants will drive an EV for 18 months to trial new technology in preparation for a time when EVs are commonplace. The technology will monitor and control the electricity demand from charging electric cars -- a solution that will save expensive and disruptive work being carried out to upgrade the electricity network.
My Electric Avenue is the first time a DNO has empowered a third party to develop, manage and deliver a network innovation project on its behalf to test a possible approach that will help shape the design and delivery of future network innovation competitions.