27 February 2023 Company News, Innovation, Net Zero, Press Release

SMS to develop new Demand Side Response applications for domestic flexibility market

Home EV Charger
The project, part of the UK Government’s Flexibility Innovation Programme, will design and deliver laboratory testing schemes for new Demand Side Response (DSR) applications critical for encouraging the shift to a distributed, low-carbon energy system

Energy solutions firm, SMS plc, has been awarded a new contract through the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero as part of a consortium aiming to establish new ways of achieving domestic flexibility.

Funded by the Government’s Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, the project – which sees SMS partner with Engage Consulting Limited and Nederlands Meet Institute (NMi) – will deliver laboratory testing schemes for Interoperable Demand Side Response (IDSR) applications.

This includes behind-the-meter Energy Smart Appliances (ESAs) such as electric vehicle chargers, batteries, white goods, and heating systems.

Unlocking the domestic demand-side response market is a key enabler of the UK’s transition to a secure, flexible energy system and the Government’s wider ambition to reach Net Zero by 2050. The next stage of this transition will involve a massive increase of distributed renewable energy generated and stored by homes and businesses up and down the country, with an estimated 30GW of low carbon flexible assets in total to be deployed across the grid by 2030 (representing a three-fold increase on today’s levels).

Mark Hamilton, Managing Director of FlexiGrid at SMS, said:

“To accommodate this shift to a distributed renewable energy system, flexibility will be required from many different sources, but will increasingly need to come from domestic behind-the-meter ESAs like EV chargers, heat pumps, storage heating, and battery storage. However, this will require new levels of control and standards to be introduced to allow assets to be aggregated and operated as a Virtual Power Plant (VPP), and this is ultimately what we hope to achieve through this new programme.”

As part of the project, SMS – which is an approved provider of National Grid ESO’s Demand Flexibility Service for the domestic and non-domestic markets – will develop a new version of its FlexiGrid aggregation platform to test ESAs against new Interoperable Demand Side Response (IDSR) applications. The energy infrastructure company will also expand its existing smart metering test facilities to accommodate the testing of ESAs in mock domestic settings.

Tom Woolley, Smart Product and Strategy Director at SMS, added:

“This is a significant step forward that combines SMS’s technical and testing prowess in the smart meter industry with our pioneering FlexiGrid aggregation services. Working together, these two areas of expertise will play a significant role in enabling the move to a smart, flexible, and low-carbon energy system.”

Engage, which will manage the project and drive the overall technical solution, and NMI, which will design and develop the testing schemes and provide test execution assurance, complete the consortium of project partners.

Making the smart grid a reality

By intelligently operating distributed energy resources as a Virtual Power Plant (VPP), our FlexiGrid aggregation platfrom delivers the real-time flexibility essential for a decarbonised system.