DNO says Equinox project will enable customers to play a part in a flexible energy future using heat pumps in their own homes
Western Power Distribution has announced the launch of its Equinox project, a £15.38m scheme designed to unlock flexibility from residential low carbon heating technology such as heat pumps.
Western Power Distribution, the distribution network operator (DNO) for the Midlands, South West and South Wales, says Equinox (which stands for Equitable Novel Flexibility Exchange) will enable customers to play a part in a flexible energy future using heat pumps in their own homes.
WPD said that it hopes that the ‘first of a kind’ project, together with partners Passiv Systems, SP Energy Networks, Octopus Energy, SERO Homes, West Midlands Combined Authority, Guidehouse and the Welsh Government, will allow it to effectively plan investment and reduce barriers for residential customers.
The £15.38m project is partly funded by Ofgem’s Network Innovation Competition (NIC) and is the first NIC-funded project dedicated to addressing the challenges DNOs face from the electrification of heat, Western Power said.
The company said it will work with the partners to develop the new commercial arrangements and supporting technologies needed to unlock flexibility from residential low carbon heating. The project team is also looking for additional supplier support to test the commercial trials.
It is hoped that it will create a viable solution for DNOs to unlock the flexibility from residential low carbon heat at scale in a way that is reliable, cost-effective and equitable for customers. WPD said it is preparing its network for an additional 600,000 heat pump connections by 2028.
Stuart Fowler, WPD Innovation Engineer, said: “WPD believes that everyone should be able to access the benefits that can be offered through heat flexibility…Through unlocking the flexibility of heat pumps, we hope that the project will allow DNOs to effectively plan investment and reduce barriers for all residential customers to provide flexibility.”
Equinox is planned to run from March 2022 to January 2026.
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