To ensure the right outcomes (‘Fair’, ‘Just’, ‘Affordable’, ‘Green’ to name a few…) the Energy Transition will need to be driven forward by the right financing, governance, policy, data, and tooling. Local authorities and energy networks are faced with a huge challenge: working together to understand current baselines and identify viable pathways to decarbonise.
The scale of action required is substantial, as highlighted in the latest Distribution Future Energy Scenarios report published by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) and Regen which found that, by 2030, SSEN’s networks will have to support:
Project RESOP (Regional Energy System Optimisation Planning) aims to take a ‘whole system’ approach, by drawing together data from multiple sources into a single tool that can be used to plan retrofit and roll out of low carbon technologies (LCTs) like electric vehicle charge points. This will help local authorities plan decarbonisation pathways by enabling LCTs to be sited in cost-effective locations whilst providing early warning to SSEN of additional demand on the network.
Project RESOP (Regional Energy System Optimisation Planning) was formed in 2020 by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) under Ofgem’s Network Innovation Allowance (NIA). The project brings together a range of stakeholders:
At Advanced Infrastructure we have been providing our innovative geospatial planning tool LAEP+ (Local Area Energy Planner Plus) to facilitate collaboration between network operators, local authorities and other energy transition stakeholders as part of RESOP and other innovative Energy Transition projects.
There is a growing emphasis on digital twins and digital tooling to support planning across the energy sector. Check out our recent podcast discussing digitalisation of utilities with Ninad Jangtap, IBM: Digitalising Utility Networks: Local Area Energy Planning).
By providing a visual representation of the local area’s baseline and opportunities to decarbonise, digital planning tools can support clearer visualisation of local potential and modelling of ‘what if’ scenarios.
Geospatial analysis is key to developing a long-term low-carbon heating strategy. It can also help identify immediate ‘no regrets’ decisions by supplying data on the geospatial potential for different heating technologies.
As part of RESOP, in Dundee, we’ve worked with a number of data providers and used innovative data inference techniques to map suitability for different heating types across the area. Including:
In Dundee, total heat demand is estimated to be 950GWh. There are 242 anchor loads which provide 45% of heat or 430.9GWh of anchor load demand. By overlaying heat network potential polygons, users can start to identify homes which might sit within heat networks, or are likely to need alternative heating sources - like heat pumps.
To support further analysis of heating potential, we produced desktop assessments of building-level suitability for domestic heat pumps (pictured below) - as well as building-by-building modelled heat demand.
This data will be used by the two councils alongside the Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategy (LHEES) being produced by Arup as part of RESOP.
How much local renewable generation can an area support? This is a key data point for planners working on a Net Zero transition pathway.
Using data on property type, roof type, roof size, and roof orientation we calculate the overall suitability, viable roof area, and estimated yearly outturn (kWh) of a PV array installed on the roofs of buildings across areas like Dundee. We’ve also worked with Energy Systems Catapult to integrate their Local Energy Asset Representation (LAER) data with LAEP+ in Oxfordshire where it has been used by to support projects across the county.
Using power flow modelling APIs between LAEP+ and Derryhirk, another RESOP partner, users will even be able create and save planned energy projects, as well as model the potential impact of PV installations on the local grid.
This data in turn can inform Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks future network investment decisions to support targeted investment in the network where it is needed most.
For some transport use cases we’ve run as part of Project RESOP, Project LEO and others - check out our recent blog How can Local Authorities and EV Solution Providers optimise the siting of EV Charge Points?
For more information about Project RESOP and the other project partners, check out: https://ssen-innovation.co.uk/nia-projects/nia-ssen-0043-whole-system-growth-scenario-modelling-phase-2/
LAEP+ has enabled us to collaborate with many local authorities within the regions SSEN serves, to share network data and information from multiple sources alongside modelling best practice to build a clear picture of optimal pathways to reach net zero.