On 1st March we worked with Regen and Western Power Distribution to deliver an event looking at Democratic, Decentralised and Decarbonised Energy Systems. Despite the terrible weather, the following topics were discussed. 

Working with WPD for better future systems - Ryan Kavanagh, network strategy engineer, Western Power Distribution
Find out more about the latest WPD innovation projects involving communities, and hear about how distribution network operators (DNOs) are becoming distribution system operators (DSOs) and changing to enable more democratic, decentralised and decarbonised

Linking local generation and demand - Pete Capener, Bath and West Community Energy 
Bath and West Community Energy, like many others in the community energy sector, have been trying to understand how they can continue adding value as the focus on subsidy subsides. Drawing on their experience and the strengths of the community energy model, they are looking to develop low risk approaches to strengthening the link between local community generation and local demand through new partnerships, community outreach and pilot projects.

Local Energy trading platforms - Andy Heald, Energise Barnsley/Gen Community
Energise Barnsley have applied to Ofgem’s regulatory sandbox to test and scale up a new approach to households with solar PV selling what they currently export, directly to their neighbours. Using a virtual network, households could subscribe to a local trading platform, which is checked by the DNO at the local substation level. The DNO would inform whichever energy supplier the householders use, and the supplier would credit their account, for any excess generation bought off their neighbours. The 321 homes with solar PV who could take part in this trial are currently exporting 800 MWh per year. This trial could help households save 15-20 per cent on their energy bills, help prevent ‘green envy’ and spread the benefits of local low carbon generation, whilst helping the DNO avoid costly upgrades to the network, which we pay for via our

Interactive workshop
What the shift from DNO to DSO means to you
How we can best work together to achieve a more democratic system
What you would like WPD to support you with in future

Community energy progress and possibilities
Emma Bridge, chief executive, Community Energy England
An update on policy, funding and the direction of travel for community energy.

Please see here for a link to the presentations from the day.

Other useful documents and resources as mentioned on the day

WPD community energy resources and films – view here

WPD guides, information and videos – view here

Connecting Community Energy: A guide to getting a network connection - download here

Guide to connecting electricity storage guide for communities and independent developers – download here

Rough Guide to Engaging Communities in Energy Network Innovation – download here

Network charging for flexible future – download here

Local supply paper – download here

Energy Storage – The Next Wave – download here

Energy Storage – Towards a Commercial Model – download here