Feb 2021
Electricity Distribution
Peak Heat
Feb 2021
May 2022
Western Power Distribution
Ricky Duke
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Network Innovation Allowance
ED - Transition to low carbon future
Heat Pumps
This project presents a unique opportunity to learn to what degree heat pumps will impact the LV networks, during the average winter day, the average winter peak as well as in a 1 in 20 winter event. The project will also investigate the market for domestic thermal storage and the ability of thermal storage to help solve constraints on the distribution network. The project will deliver this through five work packages:

  • Customer segmentation and archetype creation - defining the relevant archetypes of interest
  • Heat market landscaping – characterising the range of technologies with a focus on domestic thermal storage
    Customer modelling - exploring the range of impacts on load profiles from heating technologies including modelling the impact of ‘1 in 20’ peak winter condition, and the flexibility that these may deliver.
  • Area typology modelling - assess the impact that heat electrification will have on four local distribution network typologies.
  • Cost benefit Analysis, analysis and recommendations - drawing together all the findings from the research. This will include conducting a high-level CBA to identify the potential lowest cost options.
  • Look at the latest heat pump loads based on current strategies around heat pump operation (it should be noted that there has been significant development in controls and optimisation strategies for heat pumps in the last few years).
  • Investigate the impact of heat pumps based on specific typology areas, considering the effects of clustering on our network.
  • Investigate the trade-off between smart shifting of loads and cost to upgrade the network.
  • Access the impact of a peak winter (1 in 20) on the network due to both direct (e.g. poorer heat pump performance in cold conditions) and indirect (e.g. customer behaviour during these events) effects.
  • Examine the potential market and role for domestic thermal storage.
  • Up to £255m could be saved by 2030 in the form of avoided network reinforcements based on the learnings of this project.
  • Carbon saving benefits (and increased speed of decarbonisation)
  • Potential for more reliable service as the dynamics of heat pumps uptake are better understood and anticipated.
  • Helping customers to decarbonise their heating.