Worthing and Shoreham homes could be in for huge energy savings with ‘virtual power plant’

A pioneering clean energy scheme could save residents of Shoreham and Worthing up to 40 per cent on their home energy bills.

Technology company Moixa is rolling out a ‘virtual power plant’ this autumn, linking together solar panels, batteries and electric vehicles in hundreds of homes, schools and council buildings.

Chris Wright, Moixa's chief technology officer SUS-190423-111020001

Chris Wright, Moixa's chief technology officer SUS-190423-111020001

Solar panels and batteries will be installed in 250 council homes and 100 schools and council buildings, with a GridShare artificial intelligence system used to tailor the power to each user’s needs.

The increased efficiency could offer home energy savings of up to 40 per cent, according to designers.

Moixa’s chief technology officer, Chris Wright, said: “This project will show how solar panels, batteries and electric vehicles at home and in the workplace can play a vital role in creating a smart, low-carbon, energy system, cutting energy bills, saving the country billions and helping to meet our climate targets.

“It will demonstrate the benefits of linking power, heat and transport in one local system and showcase UK expertise in an emerging global smart grid market.”

The GridShare system SUS-190423-165527001

The GridShare system SUS-190423-165527001

The virtual power plant is the first element of what Moixa has called a ‘smart local energy system (SLES)’ around Worthing and Shoreham.

The SLES will also include a marine source heat pump and combined heat and power system, a battery made of second-life car batteries, air source heat pumps supporting domestic boilers and a hybrid refuelling station to support electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in Horsham.

West Sussex County Council and the Carbon and Energy Fund has supported the three-year, £40million project, which is expected to cut energy costs by an average of ten per cent per user and save nearly 2,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year.

Once the autumn phase is completed, Moixa will install 250 electric vehicle chargers from early 2020.

A Moxia smart battery at home SUS-190423-165537001

A Moxia smart battery at home SUS-190423-165537001

The GridShare intelligence system will learn drivers’ patterns of use and make sure vehicles are always charged, in the most cost-effective way.

Electric vehicles plugged in for charging will also use their batteries to power homes and offices or export electricity into the network during peak demand, through a charging partnership with Honda.