SSEN consults on managing EV charging

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has launched a consultation on Managed Electric Vehicle Charging.

The consultation is seeking views on proposed solutions to help avoid potential overloads on local electricity networks caused by sharp increases in the use of electric vehicles.

The consultation forms part of SSEN’s Smart EV project. This project set out to review and research charging solutions that will allow the transition to electric vehicles to take place with minimum disruption to customers, and avoiding unnecessary network reinforcement.

SSEN

(l-r) Stewart Reid (SSEN); Natasha Robinson, head of the Office for Low Emission Vehicles; and Daniel Hollingworth (EA Technology), at SSEN’s event to launch the consultation

Local electricity distribution networks are designed around traditional energy use patterns.  SSEN say that network operators have “limited visibility” of the scale and ‘clustering’ of new electric vehicles until they occur.

The primary focus of the consultation is to seek views on an interim solution to address emergency situations, where local networks have faulted based on a rapid increase in demand. The proposed solution involves installing a device at both the local substation and, as an option, in domestic properties to monitor load and temporarily adjust EV charging where required.

SSEN say an interim solution would be deployed strictly for emergency use cases “until such time as a more market-based solution can be called upon”, or a permanent network reinforcement option can be implemented.

Stewart Reid, head of innovation at SSEN, explained that with the transition to electric vehicles gathering pace, it is SSEN’s job to ensure it is as smooth as possible.

Mr Reid said: “Through the Smart EV project, SSEN is working ahead of need to develop a cost-effective, readily-deployable solution to address the challenge of clusters of EVs on our local electricity networks, until such time as long-term market solutions are suitably established.  We welcome any views through the consultation process.”

The consultation is open until 30 April 2018. There are 13 questions outline on the document, including if the market is “mature” enough to supply an interim solution and if an interim solution is feasible.