Energy and Utilities

The Energy Transition | OVO releases its Drive + Anytime tariff, Bonnet raises 920k to grow its business, SSE and National Grid to convert transformers into 'community boilers' and Kaluza enters the US market

Published on 27th Aug 2021

This week, we focus on OVO's rollout of its Drive + Anytime electric vehicle (EV) tariff, Bonnet raises £920k to drive the expansion of its business, SSE and National Grid convert transformers into "community boilers", Kaluza partners up with Innowatts and Mitsubishi closes its Smarter Grid Solutions acquisition.

EU_windmill

OVO releases its Drive + Anytime EV Tariff nationwide

Earlier this week, OVO released its Drive + Anytime electric vehicle tariff across the UK, and is now offering customers a 5p/kWh rate regardless of the time of day. The new tariff also separates EV charging from domestic energy usage, permitting customers to be credited back for any electricity saved via smart charging each month.

According to OVO, its low tariff has been made possible through Kaluza’s energy platform and smart charging innovation, with EV drivers able to select via a mobile app when they need their car charged. Kaluza also harnesses artificial intelligence to automatically optimise their EVs to charge when prices and emissions are low and during times of decreased energy demand.

The supplier claims that the tariff permits customers to drive the EVs for £100 per year. This assumes that OVO's EV customers meet the UK average of 7,400 miles at an average of 4mi/kWh and a charging level of 1,850kWh per year at the Anytime rate of 5p/kWh. Chris Russell, Managing Director of OVO Drive commented that: "We want to encourage the use of EVs as a carbon-conscious lifestyle choice, and it should be easy and accessible - with the help of Kaluza’s cutting edge technology, our new Drive + Anytime plan embodies that vision perfectly."

Bonnet raises £920k to facilitate rapid business expansion

In an equity financing round led by Ascension Ventures, EV charging platform, Bonnet, has raised £920,000. APX and Imperial College London also invested, while the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles and Innovate UK provided a £70,000 grant. The purpose of the funding is to stimulate the growth of Bonnet’s team, in addition to expanding the platform’s partnerships with network operators and its chargepoint offering. This includes companies such as ESB, Shell Recharge, EVBox, Alfa Power, Franklin Energy, Plug-N-Go, Allego, Fastned and char.gy.

Bonnet was founded in 2019 and its app provides EV drivers with real-time data on charger functionality and availability, as well as cheaper charging packages, which they can use across the network. Bonnet also allows its app users to carry over whatever they don’t use into the following month.

The EV charging platform has set up charging points in 1,400 locations across the UK. Additionally, Bonnet aims to integrate with 70% of UK chargepoints by the end of this year. It is also introducing private and semi-public chargepoints for app users, permitting domestic chargepoint owners to cash-in as part of a semi-public network. Bonnet CEO and co-founder, Patrick Reich said: "By expanding our offering this year, Bonnet can become the top resource for drivers looking for reliable real-time chargepoint data and simple EV payments: we’re committed to ensuring EV drivers never overpay again.”

SSE and National Grid to convert transformers into 'community boilers'

SSE and National Grid have revealed plans to provide heat networks with waste heat extracted from electricity network transformers. According to the two organisations, this innovative solution could prevent millions of tonnes of carbon emissions each year, if rolled out across National Grid's 350 transformers. The waste heat will be transferred to businesses and homes through heat networks operated by SSE. At present, SSE's heat recovery technology is undergoing a proof-of-concept trial at National Grid’s Deeside Innovation Centre.

Managing Director of SSE Energy Solutions, Nathan Sanders, explained that: "Electric power transformers generate huge amounts of heat as a by-product when electricity flows through them. At the moment, this heat is just vented directly into the atmosphere and wasted. By their very nature, electricity transformers are primarily located where people live, work and consume energy meaning that they have the potential to be incredibly valuable community assets if we apply a bit of clever thinking. This ground-breaking project aims to capture that waste heat and effectively turn transformers into community ‘boilers’ that serve local heat networks with a low or even zero-carbon alternative to fossil-fuel powered heat sources such as gas boilers.”

Alexander Yanushkevich, Deeside Innovation Manager for National Grid, said: “When the solution is fully developed and tested, we can use it in any of our 350 substations and provide heat to local consumers..."

Kaluza increases its international reach with a US partnership

Tech platform, Kaluza, has entered the US market and made its demand response offering available to 45 million meters. The company's entry into the US market was achieved through a partnership with Texas-based software company, Innowatts. This means that Kaluza’s demand response service, Kaluza Flex, is now accessible to Innowatt’s North American utility customers. Innowatts’ platform provides users with data to assist them to forecast demand effectively and manage supply related risk. Whereas, Kaluza Flex can automatically manage the charging of EVs, including heating and cooling systems.

Innowatts’ Director of Strategic Development for EMEA, Harrison Brook, said: “The Innowatts-Kaluza partnership will provide the market with the systems and data-driven intelligence required to have a 360º view of individual customers, as well as manage the flexibility associated with their load requirements. The collaboration will enable customers to identify and explore new revenue opportunities; complement sustainability efforts by illuminating the carbon footprint for each electric metered site, hence providing insight into plans that lower carbon emissions and help the environment, whilst improving overall customer satisfaction.”

Toby Ferenczi, Director of Business Development at Kaluza, said: “Today’s energy retailers and utilities are navigating a highly complex and rapidly evolving energy landscape. Smart software like Kaluza’s is playing a pivotal role in unlocking opportunities for retailers to run their businesses with efficiency and speed at a low cost, while engaging their customers and shaping a resilient, decarbonised energy system. We are excited to accelerate our international expansion into North America in partnership with Innowatts.”

Mitsubishi closes its Smarter Grid Solutions acquisition

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation and Mitsubishi Electric Power Product's acquisition of Smarter Grid Solutions (SGS) has now closed. The commercial objective behind the deal is to help expand the reach of SGS’s energy management enterprise software to distributed energy resources customers on a global scale. SGS's software is used to manage market participation in energy systems and power grids with high penetrations of flexible, clean and distributed energy assets.

As discussed in a previous issue of the Energy Transition, SGS will report into Mitsubishi Electric Corporation’s North American power systems subsidiary, Mitsubishi Electric Power Products, and will maintain operations in Scotland.

Though the acquisition has now closed, its commercial terms have not been revealed.

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