Virtual energy system - Crowdflex

ESO secures funding for next phase of CrowdFlex project

The ESO has been awarded funding for the beta phase of the CrowdFlex project

The ESO has been awarded funding for the beta phase of the CrowdFlex project, which looks to understand consumer demand and domestic flexibility to demonstrate the benefits of the Virtual Energy System and will build interconnected models of consumer demand and flexibility. This large-scale demonstrator will utilise data gathered from trials based on two kinds of domestic flexibility services:

  • Utilisation payments: Consumers will be paid to turn-up or turn-down demand as part of a scheduled service that examines how domestic flexibility can contribute to the management of system constraints.
  • Availability payments: Consumers will be paid a regular fixed payment to make their assets available (e.g., to plug in their EVs). 

CrowdFlex will enable ESO's Control Room to better understand and utilise domestic flexibility as a resource in future. As well as the models, data from the trials will also be used to generate consumer understanding and help develop go-to-market strategies for flexibility service providers. 

CrowdFlex will therefore provide a crucial step in establishing domestic flexibility as a reliable energy and grid management resource. Domestic flexibility will help consumers to reduce their energy costs and enable the energy industry to meet its ambitious decarbonisation goals.

The project is funded by energy network users and consumers through the Strategic Innovation Fund, a programme from the UK’s independent energy regulator Ofgem, managed in partnership with Innovate UK. It is also being delivered by a consortium of partners including OctopusOVOOhmeCentre for Net ZeroElement EnergyAmazon Web Services (AWS), National Grid Electricity Distribution and Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks. ESO will also be supported by The Smith Institute and Centre for Sustainable Energy.

The CrowdFlex project is part of ESO’s ambitious industry-wide mission to develop a world first, real-time replica of our entire energy landscape through an ecosystem of connected digital twins, working in parallel to the physical system, the Virtual Energy System.

Developed and owned by the industry, this virtual environment will be a shared national asset - generating insights, new ideas, and the ability to model solutions to cut real-world carbon emissions, supporting our decarbonisation goals, and delivering long-term value to the industry and consumers.

To find out more about CrowdFlex visit the project website and to find out more about the Virtual Energy System visit our website. The Virtual Energy System programme team can be contacted here: [email protected].