Octopus & National Grid prove that EVs can balance grid

Octopus Energy has taken another step in its plans to transform the UK's energy system by integrating electric cars into National Grid’s balancing mechanism.

Image: National Grid

A National Grid ESO trial has already been underway for seven months, which saw Octopus customers using their electric cars to balance power. The customers also benefitted from a heavily reduced charging rate, while Octopus further explains that “every energy bill payer benefits through a reduction in system balancing costs.” Finally, the success of the project also cleared the way for other suppliers to do the same, according to the initiators.

As Octopus wrote in its press release: “The trial has proved that many ‘mini power plants’ – electric cars – can be as useful as one big power plant. The only difference is that consumers pocket the cash for balancing the grid rather than big energy firms.”

Extrapolating the results of the trial, if all 10 million EVs that are expected to be in the UK by 2030 participated in the Balancing Mechanism, system costs would be reduced by almost £100 million a year. They would also prevent abundant renewable energy from being constrained during low-demand periods.

“We’ve empowered customers to take an active role in the energy system by standardising the process with National Grid and using cutting-edge technology. This will accelerate the transition to a cheaper and more sustainable future,” said Alex Schoch, Head of Flexibility at Octopus Energy, adding: “This bottom-up approach to energy transition benefits consumers and drives down system costs, ensuring that everyone profits from the shift towards electric transport.”



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