Energy data and software company Advanced Infrastructure has been supporting Local Energy Oxfordshire (Project LEO) in a trial aimed at identifying deployment opportunities for low carbon technologies such as EV charge points and heat pumps as well as informing long-term energy strategies and plans.
Advanced Infrastructure develops and provides spatial analytics and digital twins for the energy transition. The company helps local authorities, distribution network operators and consultants to plan the rollout of low carbon infrastructure.
Project LEO (Local Energy Oxfordshire) is a £40 million Smart Local Energy System Demonstrator project that comprises a range of trials across Oxfordshire to build a broad range of reliable evidence of the technological, market and social conditions needed for a greener, more flexible, and fair electricity system - including the use of enhanced mapping tools.
Following a public tender process in November 2021, Advanced Infrastructure was appointed by Project LEO partner Oxfordshire County Council, to provide an energy mapping tool for the Project utilising and building upon Advanced Infrastructure’s LAEP+ software service and the Council’s preparatory work to collate and integrate a wide range of relevant spatial data.
A need for a strategic mapping tool was identified to host geospatial data and support teams across Oxfordshire working to decarbonise. Up to that point no on-the-market GIS tool was found to provide the energy planning functionality desired.
The LEO-LAEP+ map visualises a baseline of the current Oxfordshire energy system and opportunities to decarbonise. This includes gas network data, electricity network capacity, Distribution Future Energy Scenarios as well as data provided for the project by Energeo Ltd and the Energy Systems Catapult.
Through a collaboration with Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) and Project RESOP, the LEO-LAEP+ map will also have access to granular LV energy network data critical to help identify, manage and mitigate the impact of new connections and developments on network constraints.
The second phase of the project involved working with Oxfordshire County Council and climate action and planning officers across the Oxfordshire local authorities to trial the platform and the data. This feedback has provided valuable insights into the challenges and needs of planners working at the forefront of the local Energy Transition, and how geospatial information systems can help.
So far, the LEO-LAEP+ platform has supported the identification of sites suitable for public EV charge points through the use of data like network capacity, the availability of off-street parking and proximity to existing charge points in the local area.
The final phase of the project looks forward towards potential decarbonisation pathways by supporting users to model the impact of planned connections on carbon, cost and electricity network constraints.
Inga Doherty, Energy Insights Lead, Oxfordshire County Council commented:
“ Feedback from colleagues across the Oxfordshire local authorities has been hugely positive –simply having a single point of access to the range of data being made available is in itself really valuable but combining that with the filtering and analytical features available on the LEO-LAEP+ platform takes us many steps further down the line to understanding and being able to plan for the changes we know we need to make as we transition to a net zero energy system across Oxfordshire.“
Krista Middleton of Sustainable City Projects at Oxford City Council added:
“The LEO mapping tool has been a strong asset to our EV team. The existing layers provided within the software allowed us to assess and shortlist potential CP sites based on a number of factors including network capacity, availability of off-street parking and proximity to existing charge points.
This is an invaluable step saving time and resources in the implementation process. On top of this, we’ve added in our own data layers. This has provided geographical insights to our charge point utilisation that was previously unavailable.Through this we can see areas of high and low charge point utilisation.”
For more information on LAEP+ or to request a free demo, please visit our LAEP+ area of the website by clicking here.