The OpenLV project has produced a guidebook to help communities benefit from local electricity data, based on the experiences of the seven community organisations that participated in the trial.

The aim is that the guide will be helpful for other community organisations across Great Britain who are interested in participating in similar schemes.

The guidebook provides information, backed up by case studies, to help communities use substation data to:

• Tell a story about electricity

• Plan new low carbon technology schemes 

• Explore potential for revenue from providing network flexibility services.

The OpenLV project trialled an innovative new open access software platform (LV-CAP™) which was installed in 80 Low Voltage (LV) substations across the Midlands, the South West and South Wales. 

As well as investigating the impact of the system for electricity network operators, the project made data from local LV substations available to community organisations, businesses and academia. This allowed them to assess how it could be of benefit to them. 

Ten of the OpenLV project platforms were dedicated for the use of community organisations. Seven community organisations were recruited to participate in the project (some community organisations needed more than one platform so they could receive data from multiple substations). LV-CAP™ devices were installed in their local substations and the groups were given access to their substation data via a webapp. The participating groups took part in regular feedback sessions, allowing the project team to capture learning from their experiences.

The project, which was managed by EA Technology, took place across Western Power Distribution’s (WPD’s) licence areas.

The Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) and Regen provided invaluable input into this project, and much of the guidebook is taken from a project deliverable created by Regen. The feedback provided by the community organisations who participated in the OpenLV project has also been crucial.

The OpenLV Community Guidebook can be downloaded here