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ElectraLink is thrilled to announce that the Low Carbon Technologies (LCT) Detection project has successfully used advanced analytics and machine learning to indicate the presence of 15,000 previously unknown electric vehicles and solar panels connected to Western Power Distribution’s (WPD) local electricity network. The unprecedented findings reflect a 13% increase in LCTs detected through WPD’s network compared with previous figures.

The LCT Detection project, funded by WPD’s Network Innovation Allowance, was led by ElectraLink, in partnership with IBM. ElectraLink’s CEO Stuart Lacey said, “We are delighted that the LCT Detection Project has been such a success. As a first innovation project with a Distribution Network Operator, we have demonstrated real value through intelligent use of ElectraLink’s vast energy market dataset in support of smarter, more flexible networks as the network operators transition to system operators. We look forward to the next stage in this journey.”

The project processed six years’ worth of structured and unstructured data to develop proof of concept models which identify previously unreported electric vehicles and LCTs. This new information will provide better visibility of new demand and generation on the network at household level, support network planning and avoid unnecessary, costly and disruptive reinforcement measures.

Rising electric vehicle ownership is contributing to improved air quality through reducing noxious transport emissions and driving new demand for smart charging and other smart solutions, but these necessitate visibility of where electric vehicles are connected to distribution networks at local level. Until now, this has proved difficult for Distribution Network Operators.

The project also discovered that electric vehicles and solar panels are more prevalent in affluent areas, with solar panels also prevalent in areas of higher deprivation. Analysis shows that the proportion of LCTs connected to the low voltage network in rural areas is high considering the density of the population. This is especially true for electric vehicles.

The project has also produced valuable insights around energy consumption in general, discovering an average 25% reduction in domestic electricity usage following solar panel installation and a 5% increase in energy consumption where electric vehicle charge points are installed.

For more information, please contact Gill Nowell at [email protected] or our communications team at [email protected]