Octopus EV drivers to participate in BM ‘within months’

Octopus Electric Vehicles is expanding its vehicle-to-grid (V2G) project Powerloop with the aim of participating in the National Grid’s Balancing Mechanism (BM) “in the coming months”.
Powerloop, launched in 2018, has seen over 130 electric vehicle (EV) drivers use a Nissan LEAF and the Wallbox Quasar V2G charger to export battery power back to the grid, gathering real world data.
The consortium has been collaborating with National Grid ESO to simulating qualifying and participating in the BM via existing routes to market, with the objective of allowing domestic EV drivers to benefit from actively helping to balance the grid. National Grid ESO has not applied the existing thresholds for participation to facilitate this trial to gain insights ahead of actual participation.
Isabelle Haigh, head of national control for National Grid ESO, said: “Our Future Energy Scenarios forecasts up to 45% of households engaging with V2G services by 2050, potentially unlocking significant additional capacity on consumers’ driveways.
“We’re excited to be a part of a project that is blazing a trail for EVs to fulfil this potential and actively participate in the Balancing Mechanism. Powerloop is a great opportunity to understand how small scale flexibility opportunities can help us balance the grid, and is another example of the benefits of widening participation to new players in the market.”
Octopus Electric Vehicles, part of the Octopus Energy Group, was launched in 2018 to offer a dedicated EV leasing service.
The PowerLoop consortium is Octopus Electric Vehicles and Octopus Energy in partnership with UK Power Networks (UKPN), Energy Saving Trust, Open Energi, CPS, and Guidehouse. Powerloop is funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV), with Innovate UK acting as delivery partner.
At the end of the project, the consortium will have achieved four key objectives:
gained critical insights into customer needs and driving behaviours, and which V2G propositions they’re most attracted to;
• collected substantial data to inform the DNO on flexibility, network modelling, and planning for future infrastructure;
• built a scheduling engine and aggregation platform that lets the charger communicate with all service providers;
• developed a business model that delivers value to all parties in the value-chain.

Further reading
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Ovo Energy will use ‘hidden’ balancing and timeshift to offer EV drivers ‘always off-peak’ charging tariff
Flexitricity to trade EV smart charging flexibility into Balancing Mechanism using 10,000 vehicles on ev.energy platform

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