About us

We work with you to solve your energy challenges through innovative solutions, delivering resilience, cost efficiency and sustainability

About us overview
UK Power Networks Services’ response to COVID-19

As the COVID-19 crisis continues, the safety and wellbeing of our employees, the public and our clients remains our top priority.

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Sustainability

UPS - Facilitating large fleet operators to go electric

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Industries

Our clients include some of the highest profile public and private sector organisations with critical infrastructure in complex environments.

Our industries
Network and load growth modelling at Port of Tyne

As one of the UK’s most innovative and efficient deep-sea ports, Port of Tyne has developed a decarbonisation roadmap, with an ambition to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2030 and to electrify the entire port by 2040.

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UPS - Facilitating large fleet operators to go electric

We implemented new smart electric vehicle charging systems to power UPS’s central London delivery fleet for what is believed to be the first of its kind in the world on this scale.

We implemented new smart electric vehicle charging systems to power UPS’s central London delivery fleet for what is believed to be the first of its kind in the world on this scale.

This smart charging solution allows UPS to increase the number of 7.5-tonne electric trucks operating from its London site from the current limit of 65 to 170, without the need for an upgrade to the power supply connection. 

 

Client

UPS is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions including transporting packages and freight, facilitating international trade, and deploying advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business. 

UPS is committed to operating more sustainably – for customers, the environment and the communities they serve around the world. As part of their sustainability strategy, UPS are growing their electric vehicle fleet at their central London depot in Kentish Town, London. 

 

Challenge

Freight electric vehicles, like those used by UPS, can use up to ten times as much power as a typical home when charging. This means that charging large numbers of trucks simultaneously puts significant demand on the depot’s electricity supply. Due to a capacity limitation on the local electricity network, the integration of more electric vehicles at the depot would require a significant network upgrade to ensure the demand could be met. 

UPS identified that traditional network reinforcement was not a viable model for deploying more electric vehicles at its Kentish Town depot, and appointed UK Power Networks Services to design, deliver and operate a smart-grid solution. UPS’s requirements for the project were to allow the electrification of its 170-vehicle depot fleet whilst:

  • Avoiding network reinforcement
  • Ensuring business continuity
  • Deploying a future-proof solution
  • Being economical and sustainable

 

Approach and innovation

We undertook a feasibility study to investigate alternative options to network reinforcement technologies and solutions that would enable UPS to electrify their depot fleet without reinforcing the local network.

Our in-house Energy and Technology Consulting team, who are experienced in developing and implementing state-of-the-art power systems solutions, recommended the implementation of a smart grid system. 

This solution comprises of an Active Network Management system that monitors the maximum demand required by the site and controls the vehicle charging, scheduling the charge during the evening ready for the following day’s delivery. An energy storage system was installed to optimise the power available for the whole site, which is particularly important during periods of high demand.

The scope of the project included:

  • Upgrade of the existing charge posts on site to enable connection to the smart grid system
  • Installation of new chargers
  • Development of a smart grid application that communicates with the connected vehicles and the energy storage system to control the overall demand
  • Installation of an energy storage system which coverts and inverts power based on tariff, network loading and vehicle specific requirements
  • Collaboration with subject matter experts to develop the specification of the requirements for a new charge post with integrated smart grid functionality

By integrating active network management and battery storage system technologies, we ensured the depot’s electricity demand would not exceed the network’s limit. This prevented the need for significant investment in network electrical infrastructure and safeguarded UPS against the impact associated with having uncharged vehicles.

 

Outcome

The solution addressed all of UPS’s requirements while offering system reliability and a replicable and scalable design. 

  • The Smart Grid system will enable UPS to fully electrify its Kentish Town fleet with half the connection capacity that was originally required, avoiding network reinforcement
  • The system will allow UPS to ensure ongoing continuity of business operations into the future while UPS transitions its fleet to electric
  • The project was the world’s first application of a smart grid system incorporating smart charging in a business as usual environment for a logistics company
  • The system incorporated additional functionality to provide further cost savings for UPS

 

Delivery and collaboration

The project was delivered on time and on budget and the solution is now operating as business as usual. It is an example of UK Power Networks Services’ innovative solutions to help businesses integrate electric vehicles into their fleets and optimise their existing infrastructure.

We deployed the Smart Electric Urban Logistics project in partnership with UPS, UK Power Networks and Cross River Partnership, with funding from the UK’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles through a competition led by Innovate UK.

 

An evolving solution - The EV Fleet-Centred Local Energy Systems Project

We are continuing our collaboration with UPS on a new project aimed at optimising charging of logistics companies growing EV fleets and demonstrating how smart charging can incentivise large fleet operators to go electric.

The EV Fleet-Centred Local Energy Systems (EFLES) project aims to reduce the barriers to commercial EV fleet transition and the large-scale installation of public charge points by reducing costs and increasing revenues. At the same time it will facilitate the use of distributed energy resources, such as solar power generation in depots, to support electric fleets and minimise their impact on the network.

The project is developing a software and commercial framework for local energy systems serving EV fleets. The solution is a bottom-up approach that monitors connection capacity, local demand, distributed energy resources and vehicle load and provides flexible charging against market signals, whilst supporting the electricity network. It enables fleet operators to manage their portfolio to provide optimal support to the network.

Building on its existing GridShare platform, Moixa Technology is building the integrated system to monitor and forecast energy demand and optimise energy assets. Coupled with flexible tariffs and demand data, the system will handle hundreds of energy variables to optimise performance.

The test bed for the project is once again in UPS's central London depot in Kentish Town. 

UPS has recently committed to buying 10,000 electric delivery vans from startup Arrival.

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