The future is electric

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles are becoming more commonplace on our roads and we are preparing our network for the millions of electric vehicle drivers who will want to charge their vehicles at a time and place to suit them. Paul Jewell, our Distribution System Operator (DSO) Development Manager describes some of the issues we may face going forward and how we intend to help solve them.

Provision of charging capacity for electric vehicles (EVs) is going to become key for us as our customers’ use of electricity changes through decarbonisation. While we already understand the domestic home charging model very well, home charging is not the whole story. Stakeholder feedback tells us that around half of our customers do not have easy access to a home charge point and instead rely on places of work, shopping or en-route locations to charge their vehicles. During the past year, my team and I have been working to better understand the challenges we will face in this area so we can be prepared for the demands that these customers will bring. Stakeholder engagement has been key to this.

Initial engagement in this area can be traced back to our first EV stakeholder events in 2018, which themselves were an industry first. Local Authority customers told me they were likely to offer car park as opposed to on-street charging provisions. As a direct result of this feedback, a packaged substation solution was developed. A solution that could be used in car parks and petrol forecourts and provide capacity to around seven large, EV chargers (120kW each).

Key things for my team is that they all have their roots in The Carbon Plan which seeks to hit emissions targets through the decarbonisation of heating and transport. Since that was published in 2011 UK targets have been strengthened to Net Zero and both the Road to Zero and the Clean Growth Strategy set out more detailed plans for Electric Vehicles and Heat Pumps. Electricity Networks have reasonably long asset lives, often 50 years, so we need to plan ahead and ensure that cables and substations installed today are capable of supporting our low carbon future. The level of works that we complete to anticipate demand increases has to be assessed for its overall benefit and the cost to either current or future electricity customers. In simple terms, items which attract a small additional cost but offer some future proofing are items we consider and install.

Service Cables Consultation Information

Service cables are an area of interest for us as they provide the final link between our customers and the main cable network in the street. We need to think ahead to our customers’ future use and install a cable which helps future proof their homes. When new homes are built the cost of laying larger cables can be relatively low, especially when compared to the cost and inconvenience of digging up a customers driveway or front garden at a later date.

WPD has led the industry in developing solutions to allow low carbon technologies to connect to our networks. We are keen to understand your views on our proposals for delivering a smarter, future proofed network and whether any aspects of these can be improved.

We want to hear your views on the proposals presented in this consultation. It is important that we get a broad range of stakeholders’ opinions and we are keen to get your feedback on the specific questions we have included throughout this consultation.

Please read the consultation and take our survey below.

Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles are becoming more commonplace on our roads and we are preparing our network for the millions of electric vehicle drivers who will want to charge their vehicles at a time and place to suit them. Paul Jewell, our Distribution System Operator (DSO) Development Manager describes some of the issues we may face going forward and how we intend to help solve them.

Provision of charging capacity for electric vehicles (EVs) is going to become key for us as our customers’ use of electricity changes through decarbonisation. While we already understand the domestic home charging model very well, home charging is not the whole story. Stakeholder feedback tells us that around half of our customers do not have easy access to a home charge point and instead rely on places of work, shopping or en-route locations to charge their vehicles. During the past year, my team and I have been working to better understand the challenges we will face in this area so we can be prepared for the demands that these customers will bring. Stakeholder engagement has been key to this.

Initial engagement in this area can be traced back to our first EV stakeholder events in 2018, which themselves were an industry first. Local Authority customers told me they were likely to offer car park as opposed to on-street charging provisions. As a direct result of this feedback, a packaged substation solution was developed. A solution that could be used in car parks and petrol forecourts and provide capacity to around seven large, EV chargers (120kW each).

Key things for my team is that they all have their roots in The Carbon Plan which seeks to hit emissions targets through the decarbonisation of heating and transport. Since that was published in 2011 UK targets have been strengthened to Net Zero and both the Road to Zero and the Clean Growth Strategy set out more detailed plans for Electric Vehicles and Heat Pumps. Electricity Networks have reasonably long asset lives, often 50 years, so we need to plan ahead and ensure that cables and substations installed today are capable of supporting our low carbon future. The level of works that we complete to anticipate demand increases has to be assessed for its overall benefit and the cost to either current or future electricity customers. In simple terms, items which attract a small additional cost but offer some future proofing are items we consider and install.

Service Cables Consultation Information

Service cables are an area of interest for us as they provide the final link between our customers and the main cable network in the street. We need to think ahead to our customers’ future use and install a cable which helps future proof their homes. When new homes are built the cost of laying larger cables can be relatively low, especially when compared to the cost and inconvenience of digging up a customers driveway or front garden at a later date.

WPD has led the industry in developing solutions to allow low carbon technologies to connect to our networks. We are keen to understand your views on our proposals for delivering a smarter, future proofed network and whether any aspects of these can be improved.

We want to hear your views on the proposals presented in this consultation. It is important that we get a broad range of stakeholders’ opinions and we are keen to get your feedback on the specific questions we have included throughout this consultation.

Please read the consultation and take our survey below.