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Are you interested in developing projects to benefit your community?

The OpenLV project is making electricity data from the low voltage network ‘open access’ for the first time ever. This presents a great opportunity for smart thinking and innovation.

We are inviting people to come up with novel ideas for using this data, either in the form of an app or in any other way.

In the summer of 2017, we ran a survey to collect information and ideas from community groups who would be interested in participating in the project. This demonstrated that there is a wide range of interest from communities in WPD’s network area in participating in the project.

We have now developed a fuller application process, through which we will select the final 3-4 groups to participate in the trials. The application process is open from the 4th of December 2017 to the 22nd of January 2018.

If you’re interested in applying to be one of the participating communities, you can download the ‘Guidance for Applicants’ and ‘Application Form’ documents here:

If you’re successful, your community will be assigned an experienced programmer to lead all of your software development, along with community engagement support staff from the OpenLV team to support you with designing and delivering any wider community engagement your trials will need to be successful. You will also receive up to three LV-CAP™ monitoring units, installed and maintained for the duration of your trials.

Background

The OpenLV project uses a software platform called LV-CAP™ that was developed by EA Technology.

Think of this as a computer that sits inside an electricity substation and measures and reports on what the substation is doing, in real time. For example, it can measure how much electricity the homes and businesses connected to the substation are demanding at any given moment and it can tell us how much pressure the substation is under due to this demand.

There are around a million electricity substations in the UK – almost all of them anonymous and silent parts of the energy network. But through OpenLV they could really come to life.

OpenLV data could be used by communities in all sorts of ways – and we’ll work with community groups to develop technical specifications and carry out app development.

The Guidance for Applicants document contains some app ideas, as well as links to the data that you can get from the OpenLV project, which should help you think through the sort of apps that could be possible. If you think you’ll need to combine that data with other data sources, we’re happy to talk to you about what those might be and how you might access them, before you write your application.

There will be some physical limitations on where the monitoring equipment can be installed, which relate to the strength of the mobile data signal in your area, and the design of your local substation. Again, the Guidance for Applicants document will help you work this out, and you can call us for further guidance if you need to.

For more information, email openlv@cse.org.uk.

If you have an urgent enquiry, call 0117 934 1400 and ask to speak to Rachel Coxcoon or Bridget Newbery.

The project is being led by EA Technology, working with Western Power Distribution, the organisation that manages the local electricity networks in the Midlands, the South West and South Wales. The Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) has been contracted to deliver the community engagement elements of the project.