The OpenLV project ran a ‘mid-trial’ community workshop event on 7 March 2019 at Exeter Castle, hosted by Regen.
Five of the seven community groups taking part in the OpenLV project attended, along with five businesses/academic organisations that are involved with other OpenLV-related projects.
All the workshop attendees agreed that the event provided a useful opportunity to talk to the other organisations and groups, find out what they were doing and learn from their experiences. They appreciated the opportunity to talk to representatives from Western Power Distribution (WPD) about their projects, and to get an update on the progress of the project from EA Technology.
A key part of the workshop was a roundtable discussion hosted by CSE, which gave attendees the opportunity to describe how they had engaged with their communities as part of the OpenLV project.
One of the community projects, Tamar Energy Group, explained how they are now able to display graphs of their local substation data on the community group website, and they are developing the functionality to display it on mobile phones and tablets. The group has also been very effective in engaging with their local school, getting the children interested in local energy use.
Another community project, Bath and West Community Energy, has attracted significant community interest in its solar and battery storage scheme.
The OpenLV project is monitoring all four substations that serve the village of Marshfield. This is allowing Marshfield Energy Group to use project data to understand electricity consumption patterns across the whole village.
The event was also attended by Rooftops Housing Association, who will be utilising substation data to help their community become more energy efficient, and Exeter Community Energy Group who are developing an app to motivate householders to change their electricity consumption patterns.
The workshop had a number of purposes:
- Allow the groups to meet WPD and gain a greater understanding of the electricity distribution networks whose substation data they are using. As part of the OpenLV project, software is installed in 80 Low Voltage (LV) distribution substations located in WPD’s licence areas – the Midlands, the South West and South Wales.
- Allow the businesses and academic organisations involved in other OpenLV-related projects to talk with the communities whose data they are receiving in order to gain greater insights.
- Allow the community groups to learn from each other, sharing experiences of how they are communicating with their communities, what has worked for them and what hasn’t.
The OpenLV project is funded by Ofgem through the Network Innovation Competition (NIC). It is a ground-breaking project that is making electricity data openly available using an innovative open software platform.
Western Power Distribution – Western Power Distribution is the company responsible for electricity distribution in the Midlands, South West and Wales, serving 7.9 million customers. WPD is funding the project and is the principal project partner. The project is taking place in its licence areas.
EA Technology – EA Technology is an employee-owned organisation offering high-tech instruments, software, electrical services and technical consultancy to the operators of power networks around the world. EA Technology is a project partner and is managing the project.
CSE – CSE is an independent national charity which promotes energy sustainability. CSE was responsible for the recruitment and screening of community organisations who wanted to participate in the project. CSE is now mentoring and advising the seven community groups who are participating in OpenLV and developing the web app for the groups to use.
Regen – Regen is an independent not-for-profit organisation that uses its expertise to work with industry, communities and the public sector to revolutionise the way we generate, supply and use energy. Regen is providing cost benefit analysis of the community activities enabled by the OpenLV project. Find out more about the OpenLV projects