A new project launched by Western Power Distribution (WPD) and Ricardo Energy will trial new technology to help get over 3 million electric vehicles (EVs) on the road by 2023.
The new DC Share project will be trialled in Taunton, Somerset, with an aim to deliver over 217,000 EV chargers in urban spaces by 2023.
The project will test a new method of pooling spare network capacity from several local substations.
This will enable low carbon infrastructure, such as rapid EV chargers or battery energy storage, to be quickly connected without the need for network reinforcement.
If expanded across other UK electricity networks, DC Share’s technology could save customers an estimated £162m in network reinforcement costs by 2050. This is because network providers will be able to make smarter use of the existing electricity network rather than investing in new infrastructure.
The trial in Taunton will use power electronic equipment to link four local substations across the town centre, sharing their unused capacity to power 15 rapid EV chargers.
Ricky Duke, WPD innovation & low carbon network engineer commented: ‘As we look beyond COVID-19 towards the UK’s goal of Net Zero by 2050, innovative, low carbon technologies will be at the heart of the UK’s green recovery. Insights from DC Share will have a key role in helping us to build a stronger and cleaner UK economy.
‘DC Share is a win-win: this technology will allow us to rapidly decarbonise transport by making smarter use of existing infrastructure.
That means fewer carbon emissions while reducing the need for expensive infrastructure and network reinforcements in constrained urban communities.’
Local constituency MP and Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said: ‘It is wonderful news that Taunton is leading the way in decarbonising road transport, helping people to make the switch to EVs.
‘As the local MP I’ve worked hard with Western Power Distribution to get this project secured and am absolutely delighted that Taunton has been selected. This will chime really well with our garden town status too, an initiative I was pleased to be part of.’
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