Next steps for the OpenLV project

More community groups may be able to access local substation data

30 January 2020

OpenLV is a groundbreaking, £6m project that has been making local electricity data openly available – to the energy industry, community groups and app developers.

The project, run by EA Technology and delivered in partnership with Western Power Distribution (WPD), included community trials in which CSE helped community organisations to access and use substation data. Project aims included improving the capacity of the local low voltage (LV) electricity network and exploring uses of electricity data in communities, as these factors will be critical to the decarbonisation of the UK's energy use and the increase in electricity use that this implies (e.g. by replacing heating and transport fuels with electricity).

To do this, the OpenLV project tested a new type of software platform in 80 Low Voltage (LV) electricity distribution substations. This provides a way for community groups and individuals to monitor substation performance and measure electricity demand from local homes and businesses. You can read about the project in more detail here.

CSE has been working with seven community organisations in a trial to look at how access to LV substation data can help to bring about local benefits. These organisations are outlined here, and there are case studies here: 

The trials are now over and final project reports will be published later this year, but the community organisations involved in the trials showed that there are a range of ways in which substation data can be used, and exciting opportunities to develop further.

There is now an opportunity for even more community groups to get involved.

OpenLV has proved that the platform is technically ready. WPD are now exploring the possibility of making substation data available to more communities via a basic web app, developed by CSE's Andrew Gonnet.

If you are in the WPD area and have an idea for how your community could use this data, we want to hear from you - from micro-grid development, to making the best use of new tariffs, and from awareness raising to demand management.

Register your interest using the form below and we’ll keep you up to date with how to apply for access to your local substation data.

Funding for the project comes from Ofgem's Network Innovation Competition and the main partners are Western Power Distribution and EA Technology. CSE's role is as a community engagement specialist to support the delivery of community engagement activities

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