Project duration: March to May 2020

We helped Western Power Distribution (WPD) produce their Net Zero Communities Strategy, which sets out what they have done, and what they will do next to support community and local energy organisation. The strategy is based on feedback from WPD’s extensive engagement over the past seven years, including participatory events, innovation projects, site visits, guides, consultations, vulnerable customer support and development of website resources.

NZCS Main Graphic

WPD are keen to continue supporting community energy organisations because they recognise the vital role that these groups play in driving the net zero transition, and ensuring the most vulnerable in our society are not left behind. They recognise that we will not be able to achieve a transition at the speed and scale necessary to meet net zero by 2050 without bringing people with us.

The action plan sets out WPD’s commitments for the year ahead, to guide their work with community and local energy organisations, including:

  • Carbon reporting on flexibility services they buy
  • Making a clear statement on the links between carbon/net zero and communities in their next business plan
  • Collaborating with communities and local authorities on local area energy plans and providing guidance on anticipatory investment to ensure the network is not a barrier
  • Proactively support community energy organisations to connect to the network
  • Support communities to work with them on innovation projects and do a specific call for community energy innovation ideas
  • Rollout OpenLV data
  • Develop more guides and resources specifically for community energy organisations
  • Review their PSR referrals process to help more vulnerable customers and people in fuel poverty.

The strategy and action plan will be updated annually, so you can tell WPD what you think and influence their plans via the Join our community energy conversationlink on their community energy web pages, or by coming to one of our joint events.

WPD CE Strategy

People on this project

Silvia Mills
Silvia Mills
Intern
Silvia has recently joined Regen as a graduate intern. Her interests lie in policy,…
Olly Frankland
Olly Frankland
Project manager
Olly manages a wide variety of complex projects. He has developed a strong knowledge…
Jodie Giles
Jodie Giles
Senior project manager - communities
Jodie is a senior project manager responsible for the delivery of Regen’s community energy…
Rachel Hayes
Rachel Hayes
Head of networks and development ; Director of the Electricity Storage Network
Rachel leads Regen’s networks and development, as well as the organisation’s events, marketing and…
Ky Hoare
Ky Hoare
Local energy coordinator
Ky specialises in local energy issues and supports the delivery of Regen’s community energy…
Hannah Stanley
Hannah Stanley
Events manager
Hannah is part of Regen’s events, membership and communication team to help keep our…

Project duration: 2013- present

Since 2013, Regen has worked with Western Power Distribution (WPD) on a programme of community energy engagement to help build a thriving community energy movement across the South West, South Wales and the Midlands. The programme includes online content, but is underpinned by free events aimed at community energy groups, local authorities, academics and local energy stakeholders, to facilitate networking, explore the latest developments in the sector and discuss how communities can be at the heart of a decarbonised, decentralised and democratised energy system.

Over the past seven years, we’ve delivered:

  • Over 40 community engagement events across WPD’s four licence areas. These have included workshop sessions, site visits to exemplar community energy projects and feasts to allow people to network and share their experiences.
  • Community Energy Vulnerable Customers Packs to support communities in their fuel poverty work.
  • Animations for WPD on the shift to DSO, the growth of electric vehicles, the role of local flexibility, electricity storage, demand side response, local supply and alternative connections.
  • Write ups of case studies on DNO-community innovation projects, such as OpenLV and the Sunshine Tariff.
  • A series of podcasts with WPD to share learnings on projects from key communities, featuring South Dartmoor Community Energy, Ambition Lawrence Weston and Brendon Energy.
  • Three versions of the Connecting Community Energy guide, written in plain English as a guide to getting a network connection for communities, especially in WPD’s licence areas, updated every 2-3 years.
  • Running a consultation for communities on the future of our electricity network, gathering 46 responses to help WPD understand how they can support communities to participate in our changing system. Responses clearly showed the desire of communities to participate in new developments such as local flexibility, and influence WPD’s strategy to focus more on carbon reduction.

20180711 Trent Basin Solar Project     IMG 0668

Recently, these community energy events have focused on innovation and new opportunities in flexibility, as we’ve also explored in our Power to Participate project. Our energy system is changing rapidly and with the closure of the Feed-In Tariff Scheme in 2019, we want to ensure communities are not left behind new developments and understand future opportunities from new innovations and business models. These events are valuable for WPD customers as they:

  • keep them up to date with the latest connections and innovation news
  • help them engage in the changes to the energy system, including the transition from Distribution Network Operator (DNO) to Distribution System Operator (DSO)
  • give them direct access to highly experienced WPD staff
  • help them share learning from local projects
  • support regional networking.

20190307 Exeter                 20181114 Plymouth Alistair Intro

The long term and strategic nature of this engagement has led to a positive relationship between the community groups and WPD, with conversations becoming increasingly constructive and forward-looking. Read our blogs following on from the Local Energy, a Flexible Future events in summer 2019. We recently ran the next series of community engagement events with WPD – ‘Communities and the smart energy revolution’. These took place in March 2020 and slides from the events can be found here: Birmingham, Leicester, Carmarthen and Bristol.


To find out more about our work in community energy, contact Jodie Giles at JGiles@regen.co.uk  or Ky Hoare at khoare@regen.co.uk.

We have a special rate for community energy organisations who would like to be members of Regen which can be found here. 


 

People on this project

Silvia Mills
Silvia Mills
Intern
Silvia has recently joined Regen as a graduate intern. Her interests lie in policy,…
Olly Frankland
Olly Frankland
Project manager
Olly manages a wide variety of complex projects. He has developed a strong knowledge…
Jodie Giles
Jodie Giles
Senior project manager - communities
Jodie is a senior project manager responsible for the delivery of Regen’s community energy…
Rachel Hayes
Rachel Hayes
Head of networks and development ; Director of the Electricity Storage Network
Rachel leads Regen’s networks and development, as well as the organisation’s events, marketing and…
Ky Hoare
Ky Hoare
Local energy coordinator
Ky specialises in local energy issues and supports the delivery of Regen’s community energy…
Hannah Stanley
Hannah Stanley
Events manager
Hannah is part of Regen’s events, membership and communication team to help keep our…

Project duration: November 2019 – January 2020

Regen worked with Electricity North West (ENWL) to produce an internal report analysing ambitious ideas for how they can better support community energy organisations in their licence area. This report will be used to enhance the business case for further specific actions that ENWL will take to help the community energy movement grow and thrive in the next RIIO price control period (2023-2028).

ENWL want to help deliver a strong and self-sustaining community energy movement in the North West, so Regen supported them to gather evidence, feedback and insight on the ideas, which had evolved from community energy engagement, and internal discussions with the ENWL team. Feedback came from a workshop of key community and local energy stakeholders and interviews with community energy representatives, supplemented by Regen’s extensive experience supporting the community energy movement over the past 8 years.

People on this project

Silvia Mills
Silvia Mills
Intern
Silvia has recently joined Regen as a graduate intern. Her interests lie in policy,…
Olly Frankland
Olly Frankland
Project manager
Olly manages a wide variety of complex projects. He has developed a strong knowledge…
Jodie Giles
Jodie Giles
Senior project manager - communities
Jodie is a senior project manager responsible for the delivery of Regen’s community energy…
Rachel Hayes
Rachel Hayes
Head of networks and development ; Director of the Electricity Storage Network
Rachel leads Regen’s networks and development, as well as the organisation’s events, marketing and…
Ky Hoare
Ky Hoare
Local energy coordinator
Ky specialises in local energy issues and supports the delivery of Regen’s community energy…
Hannah Stanley
Hannah Stanley
Events manager
Hannah is part of Regen’s events, membership and communication team to help keep our…

Regen has supported Northern Powergrid to develop a three-year strategy to engage and support community and local energy stakeholders in their licence areas.

The strategy was developed based on feedback from 17 community energy representatives, who told us what support they need, how they would like to be engaged and what role they want to play in the future energy system. The strategy was also informed by insight from Regen’s community energy engagement experience over the past eight years, and in depth interviews with Northern Powergrid’s senior team, to test the feasibility of new ideas.

This strategy includes Northern Powergrid’s vision, purpose and approach, and an action plan with commitments which Northern Powergrid can work towards over the next three years (2020-2023) to support the community and local energy sector to grow and thrive.

You can read the full strategy here

NPG CE Strategy

People on this project

Silvia Mills
Silvia Mills
Intern
Silvia has recently joined Regen as a graduate intern. Her interests lie in policy,…
Olly Frankland
Olly Frankland
Project manager
Olly manages a wide variety of complex projects. He has developed a strong knowledge…
Jodie Giles
Jodie Giles
Senior project manager - communities
Jodie is a senior project manager responsible for the delivery of Regen’s community energy…
Rachel Hayes
Rachel Hayes
Head of networks and development ; Director of the Electricity Storage Network
Rachel leads Regen’s networks and development, as well as the organisation’s events, marketing and…
Ky Hoare
Ky Hoare
Local energy coordinator
Ky specialises in local energy issues and supports the delivery of Regen’s community energy…
Hannah Stanley
Hannah Stanley
Events manager
Hannah is part of Regen’s events, membership and communication team to help keep our…

OpenDSR is a government funded project looking to demonstrate a concept for domestic demand side response (DSR) and support the development of a business model for the Energy Community Aggregator Service (ECAS), a community owned DSR aggregator and energy service provider.

The OpenDSR project aims to reduce cost and barriers to domestic participation in demand side response (DSR), achieving this through:

  • Interoperability – enabling devices, assets and appliances to communicate with each other and external control systems
  • Open standards – using a minimum standards-based approach to using DSR products
  • Open source – using freely available, standardised base software for controlling and recording DSR calls, dispatches and transactions/payments
  • Off the shelf hardware – enabling existing control hardware products/components that meet electrical safety and other industry standards from the outset

The project is funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Innovative Domestic DSR Competition – Phase 2. Regen is a project partner alongside Carbon Co-op, Megni OpenEnergyMonitor, Great Places and EV Parts.

The project will test and demonstrate the potential for multiple household energy loads to be controlled remotely to reduce demand at particular times, for example at times of peak electricity demand on either the local electricity network or the national electricity grid. Smart electric vehicle (EV) chargers will be installed in 60 Carbon Co-op members’ homes, and immersion heaters, solar panels and solar diverters will be installed in 40 social households belonging to Great Places in Manchester. Carbon Co-op will aggregate this portfolio of domestic distributed energy resources (DERs) and have an agreement with that householder to be able to:

  • optimise when electricity is used to save the householder money if they are on a time-of-use tariff (TOUT)
  • directly control household assets and electric vehicle (EV) charging equipment, to participate in existing and upcoming flexibility markets, sending signals to a Home Energy Management System (HEMS), which the householder can override if they don’t want to participate.

The project builds on the ECAS and OpenDSR Phase 1 feasibility studies.

Energy Communities Aggregator Service (ECAS) – Local Flexibility Markets (2018)

OpenDSR Phase 1 Feasibility Report

Electric Car Smile Edit 02


To find out more about Open DSR or community energy more generally, contact Ky Hoare at khoare@regen.co.uk

We run regular engagement events for communities that you can view here and we have a special rate for community energy organisations who would like to be members of Regen which can be found here. 


 

People on this project

Silvia Mills
Silvia Mills
Intern
Silvia has recently joined Regen as a graduate intern. Her interests lie in policy,…
Olly Frankland
Olly Frankland
Project manager
Olly manages a wide variety of complex projects. He has developed a strong knowledge…
Jodie Giles
Jodie Giles
Senior project manager - communities
Jodie is a senior project manager responsible for the delivery of Regen’s community energy…
Rachel Hayes
Rachel Hayes
Head of networks and development ; Director of the Electricity Storage Network
Rachel leads Regen’s networks and development, as well as the organisation’s events, marketing and…
Ky Hoare
Ky Hoare
Local energy coordinator
Ky specialises in local energy issues and supports the delivery of Regen’s community energy…
Hannah Stanley
Hannah Stanley
Events manager
Hannah is part of Regen’s events, membership and communication team to help keep our…

Project duration: January to February 2019

Regen worked with the Energy Systems Catapult (ESC) to explore the potential benefits for community energy organisations of engaging with the Catapult’s Local Area Energy Planning (LAEP) process, as well as the benefits that their engagement would bring to the process.  The output was a report for the ESC to inform the development of the LAEP process going forwards.

The LAEP process is a concept that has been developed by the ESC.  It aims to create a transparent and evidence-based open dialogue to enable stakeholders, facilitated by local government, to more robustly interrogate different future local energy scenarios and to develop local whole system plans to support cost-effective options for decarbonisation.

To support the roll-out of the LAEP process, the ESC commissioned Jodie Giles, Regen’s community energy expert, and Hazel Williams, Regen’s planning expert, to:

  • Identify the potential benefits for community energy organisations of engaging with LAEP development and delivery.
  • Identify the potential benefits for a LAEP process when community energy organisations are engaged.

Based on interviews with community energy organisations and local authorities, Regen uncovered the following key findings:

There are potential economic, social and environmental benefits for communities

By engaging with a LAEP, communities would be able to understand what parts of the future energy system they could benefit from, for example through asset ownership, the revenue it generates, reduced energy costs, and a boost to local employment and growth.

Whilst the environmental benefits are plain to see – lower carbon emissions – perhaps less so are the social benefits. Engagement in a significant long-term project, such as development of new renewable energy generation, involves local people in a range of activities, improving skills and confidence.

By making collective decisions about the use and distribution of income, local communities also develop greater self-determination through the direct control of local resources.

12

Image – comparison between the community wind farm Awel Aman Tawe and Pen Y Cymoedd wind farm

 

It will help ensure community groups are ‘transition savvy’

The interviewees believed LAEP would help community energy groups find their place in the new, low carbon energy system, and help them decide which are the best projects for them to focus on. The whole system perspective of LAEP (i.e. to consider how change to one part of the system affect the whole) would help broaden their knowledge and perspective.

The process could also provide evidence to inform grassroots action, for example on decarbonisation and addressing climate change.

It could encourage buy-in from residents

High quality, broad engagement was considered vital to encourage buy-in for any plan from local people and could help address the common criticism that top-down plans often fail to account for local circumstances.

Community energy organisations have close relationships with many stakeholders including consumers, private and social landlords, and investors. As a trusted local organisation with a history of local engagement, they could facilitate positive engagement with the wider local community.

Overall, community energy representatives were overwhelmingly positive about local area energy planning. Done well, the interviewees believed it would probably add confidence to community energy plans and support inward public and private investment from landowners, funders and investors.

Community energy organisations are important local energy system actors and agents of change

Community energy organisations are ambitious in what they’re trying to achieve and fully on-board with the drive to eliminate carbon emissions from the energy system.

These characteristics, combined with their knowledge of the local energy system, make them key players in ensuring that the local energy planning process maximises the benefits it could bring to the public.

Looking to the future for Local Area Energy Planning

The ESC is working with Ofgem and Government to test the potential of rolling out such an approach more widely. The LAEP concept is referenced in recent RIIO-2 Business Plan guidance.

Project leads: Hazel Williams and Jodie Giles

Catapult

People on this project

Christine Chapter
Christine Chapter
Head of Innovation
Christine has recently joined Regen as our new Head of Innovation. She is looking…
Silvia Mills
Silvia Mills
Intern
Silvia has recently joined Regen as a graduate intern. Her interests lie in policy,…
Ray Arrell
Ray Arrell
Head of technical development
Ray leads Regen's technical development strategy, coordinating the development of the company's capabilities and…
Olly Frankland
Olly Frankland
Project manager
Olly manages a wide variety of complex projects. He has developed a strong knowledge…
Jodie Giles
Jodie Giles
Senior project manager - communities
Jodie is a senior project manager responsible for the delivery of Regen’s community energy…
Johnny Gowdy
Johnny Gowdy
Director
Johnny is a director of Regen and leads the development of our advisory projects,…
Madeleine Greenhalgh
Madeleine Greenhalgh
Policy and advocacy manager
Madeleine is the policy lead for Regen and the Electricity Storage Network, working to…
Kerry Hayes
Kerry Hayes
Project manager
Kerry is a project manager at Regen who has a broad range of experience,…
Rachel Hayes
Rachel Hayes
Head of networks and development ; Director of the Electricity Storage Network
Rachel leads Regen’s networks and development, as well as the organisation’s events, marketing and…
Jonty Haynes
Jonty Haynes
Energy analyst
Jonty is an Energy Analyst at Regen delivering a range of technical support services.…
Ky Hoare
Ky Hoare
Local energy coordinator
Ky specialises in local energy issues and supports the delivery of Regen’s community energy…
Mark Howard
Mark Howard
Project Manager
Mark holds a bachelors degree in engineering and has over a decade of experience…
Merlin Hyman
Merlin Hyman
Chief executive
Merlin leads Regen’s mission to transform how we generate, supply and use energy. Merlin…
Poppy Maltby
Poppy Maltby
Senior project manager
Poppy is a Senior Project Manager at Regen working on future scenarios and energy…
Frankie Mayo
Frankie Mayo
Senior energy analyst
As Senior Analyst at Regen Frankie has lead and helped deliver Regen's 'future energy…
Joe Noble
Joe Noble
Data analyst intern
Joe has recently joined Regen on a 6-month internship as a Data Analyst. Joe…
Hannah Stanley
Hannah Stanley
Events manager
Hannah is part of Regen’s events, membership and communication team to help keep our…
Joel Venn
Joel Venn
Head analyst
As head analyst, Joel is responsible for leading and developing Regen’s analytical team, as…
Ellie Wilkes
Ellie Wilkes
Graduate intern
Ellie joined recently as an Intern. She splits her time between supporting projects in…
Hazel Williams
Hazel Williams
Head of delivery
Hazel is responsible for Regen’s project delivery, leading on resourcing, quality assurance and developing…

Project duration: September 2016 – March 2019

Over the past three years, the Energy Networks Association (ENA) and all six UK Distribution Network Operators (DNOs), together with Regen, have delivered a collective programme of events and guides to encourage and increase communities’ engagement in electricity network innovation, as DNOs transition to Distribution System Operators (DSOs).

The community energy sector has encountered difficulties in the past few years with policy changes from the UK government affecting previously reliable business models based on income from the Feed-in Tariff, leading communities to look towards network innovation to build new business cases, overcome network constraints and take part in new and emerging energy markets.

Since 2016, DNOs have made great strides in developing their relationship with communities, engaging more to help them understand what they can offer the network, how DNOs can support low-carbon energy goals, running innovation trials communities can take part in, and explaining how the DSO transition will affect them. Communities are a key partner for DNOs as they transition to DSOs in an ever-more decentralised energy system.

Our ‘Engaging communities in network innovation impact report 2016 – 2018‘ summarises collective DNO engagement with communities on electricity network innovation over the past three years, with a selection of individual DNO activity, and the lessons for future engagement with this stakeholder group.

This project also included:

People on this project

Silvia Mills
Silvia Mills
Intern
Silvia has recently joined Regen as a graduate intern. Her interests lie in policy,…
Olly Frankland
Olly Frankland
Project manager
Olly manages a wide variety of complex projects. He has developed a strong knowledge…
Jodie Giles
Jodie Giles
Senior project manager - communities
Jodie is a senior project manager responsible for the delivery of Regen’s community energy…
Rachel Hayes
Rachel Hayes
Head of networks and development ; Director of the Electricity Storage Network
Rachel leads Regen’s networks and development, as well as the organisation’s events, marketing and…
Ky Hoare
Ky Hoare
Local energy coordinator
Ky specialises in local energy issues and supports the delivery of Regen’s community energy…
Hannah Stanley
Hannah Stanley
Events manager
Hannah is part of Regen’s events, membership and communication team to help keep our…

Project duration: December 2018 – February 2019

We have written a report for the Institute of Welsh Affairs (IWA) producing recommendations for the protection, promotion and upscaling of community and local ownership of renewable energy in Wales. The report is part of the IWA’s Re-energising Wales project, a three-year project to deliver a roadmap for how Wales can meet its projected energy demand from 100% renewable sources by 2035, building on the Welsh Government’s renewable energy targets set in September 2017:

  • to generate 70% of its electricity consumption from renewable energy by 2030
  • for 1 GW of renewable electricity generation to be locally owned by 2030
  • for all renewable energy projects to have an element of local ownership by 2020.

The focus of our report was onshore renewable generation capacity, how community ownership of renewable energy has been achieved at scale elsewhere and Welsh factors that could be used to encourage more community and local ownership of renewable energy schemes, maximising its social and economic value for Wales. We conducted desk-based research and a series of interviews with key stakeholders, as well as drawing on Regen’s expertise in innovative local energy models. Our recommendations followed four themes:

  • Shared ownership
  • Establishing a local energy company for Wales
  • Planning and land access
  • Access to the grid

Read the full report here.

“The IWA has worked with Regen on two occasions. On both occasions, the staff at Regen have been passionate and a pleasure to work with. In the most recent commission, we asked Regen to deliver a complex piece of work in a very short space of time and they delivered efficiently and effectively. Regen staff are proactive and they go above and beyond to make sure that the work produced is the best it can be. Regen’s experience and specialist knowledge in the energy sector is exceptional.”

Shea Buckland-Jones, Re-Energising Wales Project Coordinator

Read Shea’s blog on the report’s recommendations here.

People on this project

Silvia Mills
Silvia Mills
Intern
Silvia has recently joined Regen as a graduate intern. Her interests lie in policy,…
Olly Frankland
Olly Frankland
Project manager
Olly manages a wide variety of complex projects. He has developed a strong knowledge…
Jodie Giles
Jodie Giles
Senior project manager - communities
Jodie is a senior project manager responsible for the delivery of Regen’s community energy…
Rachel Hayes
Rachel Hayes
Head of networks and development ; Director of the Electricity Storage Network
Rachel leads Regen’s networks and development, as well as the organisation’s events, marketing and…
Ky Hoare
Ky Hoare
Local energy coordinator
Ky specialises in local energy issues and supports the delivery of Regen’s community energy…
Hannah Stanley
Hannah Stanley
Events manager
Hannah is part of Regen’s events, membership and communication team to help keep our…

Project duration: January 2018 – February 2019

Over the course of 2018 a group of communities with an interest in transforming how we buy, use and generate energy came together to hold a series of ‘utopian feasts’. These communal meals acted as a medium in which ideas of a better future, and how it might be achieved, could be explored, shared and evolved.

Of course, energy use and generation has multiple direct relationships with any meal: it underpins everything from the cooking and preparation, the food and drink consumed, to the surrounding infrastructure. But a communal meal also embodies how any one ‘sustainability’ issue cannot ultimately be kept separate from any other, or from the more intangible and unpredictable elements that otherwise sustain our lives.

Prior to the first ‘Feast’, those involved took part in two afternoons of workshops looking at the idea of ‘imagining the future’, ready for the feasts they hosted:

The fifth and final feast, hosted by Tamar Energy Community, will take place in early 2019.

People on this project

Silvia Mills
Silvia Mills
Intern
Silvia has recently joined Regen as a graduate intern. Her interests lie in policy,…
Olly Frankland
Olly Frankland
Project manager
Olly manages a wide variety of complex projects. He has developed a strong knowledge…
Jodie Giles
Jodie Giles
Senior project manager - communities
Jodie is a senior project manager responsible for the delivery of Regen’s community energy…
Rachel Hayes
Rachel Hayes
Head of networks and development ; Director of the Electricity Storage Network
Rachel leads Regen’s networks and development, as well as the organisation’s events, marketing and…
Ky Hoare
Ky Hoare
Local energy coordinator
Ky specialises in local energy issues and supports the delivery of Regen’s community energy…
Hannah Stanley
Hannah Stanley
Events manager
Hannah is part of Regen’s events, membership and communication team to help keep our…

Project duration: June 2018 to September 2019.

The UK’s energy system is undergoing seismic changes. The old structure of large, strategically placed power stations and an electricity network that simply delivers power to customers is gone. The landscape is one of shifting demand, greater decentralisation and commitments to reduce or eliminate the dirtiest forms of electricity generation.

Snake

Power to Participate was a year long project aimed at addressing the barriers faced by community energy organisations when exploring new markets such as the provision flexibility services. The project was funded by Friends Provident Foundation.

Communities have been playing a pivotal role in this transition to a new system, proving that ideas, innovation and investment can and perhaps should come from the customers that end up using the power.

But community energy as a movement risks being left behind. The rapid changes in technology that impact how the UK’s energy system operates and is balanced are forcing a rewrite of the policies and regulations that govern it. Unless communities can articulate the value of the role they can play in the new world, they may not be able to play at all.

Regen was awarded funding from the Friends Provident Foundation to work with community energy groups and distribution network operators to understand why engagement with new flexibility opportunities has been so low and how it could be improved.

You can read our launch blog here and the final report here, both launched in September 2019.

Combined With Header

Community energy organisations are widely expected to play a significant role in our future energy system.

Throughout the last decade, community groups have helped decarbonise and decentralise the electricity system, bringing investment and engagement from their local areas. But the system is experiencing rapid change.

Parts of the electricity network are now seeing constraints, preventing the connection of more low carbon generation and struggling to cope with shifting patterns of demand as numbers of heat pumps and electric vehicles grows. To combat these constraints, all the UK’s Distribution System Operators (DSOs) are buying ‘flexibility services’: i.e. the ability for generators or large demand customers to turn their asset up or down if needed. It was widely anticipated that community energy organisations, hungry for new opportunities after the reduction in Feed in Tariff, would eagerly participate in these competitions for flex and potentially go on to explore opportunities at the system balancing level.

However, few community energy organisations are in a position to participate in these flexibility markets, let alone national balancing markets such as those run by National Grid ESO.

Throughout 2018 and 2019, Regen has engaged with community energy organisations, Ofgem, government and the Distribution System Operators (DSOs) to understand why communities are not participating in the emergent flexibility markets.

We brought together these key stakeholders at a ‘Hackathon’ style event in November 2018 and established some key barriers to participation and how they should be addressed. This has resulted in a report or specification that outlines 13 steps that must be taken to ‘level the playing field’ and enable participation from a wider supply chain.

Power To Participate


If you are interested in finding out more about our work and how we support community energy, please contact Jodie Giles jgiles@regen.co.uk.

We run regular engagement events for communities that you can view here and we have a special rate for community energy organisations who would like to be members of Regen which can be found here. 


 

People on this project

Christine Chapter
Christine Chapter
Head of Innovation
Christine has recently joined Regen as our new Head of Innovation. She is looking…
Silvia Mills
Silvia Mills
Intern
Silvia has recently joined Regen as a graduate intern. Her interests lie in policy,…
Ray Arrell
Ray Arrell
Head of technical development
Ray leads Regen's technical development strategy, coordinating the development of the company's capabilities and…
Olly Frankland
Olly Frankland
Project manager
Olly manages a wide variety of complex projects. He has developed a strong knowledge…
Jodie Giles
Jodie Giles
Senior project manager - communities
Jodie is a senior project manager responsible for the delivery of Regen’s community energy…
Johnny Gowdy
Johnny Gowdy
Director
Johnny is a director of Regen and leads the development of our advisory projects,…
Madeleine Greenhalgh
Madeleine Greenhalgh
Policy and advocacy manager
Madeleine is the policy lead for Regen and the Electricity Storage Network, working to…
Kerry Hayes
Kerry Hayes
Project manager
Kerry is a project manager at Regen who has a broad range of experience,…
Rachel Hayes
Rachel Hayes
Head of networks and development ; Director of the Electricity Storage Network
Rachel leads Regen’s networks and development, as well as the organisation’s events, marketing and…
Jonty Haynes
Jonty Haynes
Energy analyst
Jonty is an Energy Analyst at Regen delivering a range of technical support services.…
Ky Hoare
Ky Hoare
Local energy coordinator
Ky specialises in local energy issues and supports the delivery of Regen’s community energy…
Mark Howard
Mark Howard
Project Manager
Mark holds a bachelors degree in engineering and has over a decade of experience…
Merlin Hyman
Merlin Hyman
Chief executive
Merlin leads Regen’s mission to transform how we generate, supply and use energy. Merlin…
Poppy Maltby
Poppy Maltby
Senior project manager
Poppy is a Senior Project Manager at Regen working on future scenarios and energy…
Frankie Mayo
Frankie Mayo
Senior energy analyst
As Senior Analyst at Regen Frankie has lead and helped deliver Regen's 'future energy…
Joe Noble
Joe Noble
Data analyst intern
Joe has recently joined Regen on a 6-month internship as a Data Analyst. Joe…
Hannah Stanley
Hannah Stanley
Events manager
Hannah is part of Regen’s events, membership and communication team to help keep our…
Joel Venn
Joel Venn
Head analyst
As head analyst, Joel is responsible for leading and developing Regen’s analytical team, as…
Ellie Wilkes
Ellie Wilkes
Graduate intern
Ellie joined recently as an Intern. She splits her time between supporting projects in…
Hazel Williams
Hazel Williams
Head of delivery
Hazel is responsible for Regen’s project delivery, leading on resourcing, quality assurance and developing…

Project duration: Ongoing

Regen has worked with Western Power Distribution (WPD) and the Energy Networks Association (ENA) on a range of animations to communicate complex and technical topics in a concise and visual way. We are leading the sector in the delivery of animations as communication tools to explain the challenges ahead for the energy networks. Explaining how key technologies such as electricity storage and electric vehicles are due to revolutionise the energy system and provide new opportunities. As well as how key projects such as the Open Networks project will help with the evolution of our energy networks. See some examples below.

The growth of electric vehicles (published July 2018)

Electricity storage (published June 2017)

A full range of the WPD animations is available here.

 

Introduction to the Open Networks Project (published December 2017)

If you are interested in finding out more about this work, please contact Olly Frankland ofrankland@regen.co.uk

 

People on this project

Christine Chapter
Christine Chapter
Head of Innovation
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Silvia Mills
Silvia Mills
Intern
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Ray Arrell
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Head of technical development
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Tamar Bourne
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Olly Frankland
Olly Frankland
Project manager
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Jodie Giles
Jodie Giles
Senior project manager - communities
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Johnny Gowdy
Johnny Gowdy
Director
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Madeleine Greenhalgh
Madeleine Greenhalgh
Policy and advocacy manager
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Kerry Hayes
Kerry Hayes
Project manager
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Rachel Hayes
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Head of networks and development ; Director of the Electricity Storage Network
Rachel leads Regen’s networks and development, as well as the organisation’s events, marketing and…
Jonty Haynes
Jonty Haynes
Energy analyst
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Ky Hoare
Ky Hoare
Local energy coordinator
Ky specialises in local energy issues and supports the delivery of Regen’s community energy…
Mark Howard
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Project Manager
Mark holds a bachelors degree in engineering and has over a decade of experience…
Merlin Hyman
Merlin Hyman
Chief executive
Merlin leads Regen’s mission to transform how we generate, supply and use energy. Merlin…
Poppy Maltby
Poppy Maltby
Senior project manager
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Frankie Mayo
Frankie Mayo
Senior energy analyst
As Senior Analyst at Regen Frankie has lead and helped deliver Regen's 'future energy…
Joe Noble
Joe Noble
Data analyst intern
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Ben Robertson
Ben Robertson
Energy Analyst
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Hannah Stanley
Hannah Stanley
Events manager
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Joel Venn
Joel Venn
Head analyst
As head analyst, Joel is responsible for leading and developing Regen’s analytical team, as…
Ellie Wilkes
Ellie Wilkes
Graduate intern
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Hazel Williams
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Head of delivery
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Project duration: July 2018 – November 2018

Regen supported Western Power Distribution (WPD) to engage communities in the transition from Distribution Network Operator (DNO) to Distribution System Operator (DSO) and clarify what this means for local energy stakeholders. The consultation paper outlined the key elements of the DSO transition, the main opportunities for communities, and explained new flexibility services. The questionnaire asked communities how they want to be involved in our future electricity network and what support they need, especially around new services being procured by DNOs such as flexibility. Alongside the consultation Regen and WPD delivered 8 community engagement events in 2018.

The aim of the consultation was to:

  • support community energy organisations to develop knowledge about our changing energy system and encourage informed participation
  • find out what communities think and what their future energy plans are, and use this information to inform WPD’s ongoing engagement and capacity building support for community and local energy stakeholders
  • ensure WPD’s vision for DSO is aligned with the needs of customers and stakeholders

There were 49 responses to this consultation demonstrating significant interest from a sector that has to date found it difficult to engage in the complexity of the energy transition. The key to obtaining a strong response was providing a detailed supporting document and using Regen’s strong community energy network to encourage responses. The results and feedback were analysed by Regen and reviewed by WPD, who produced a final report including a list of actions based around:

  • Continued engagement
  • Enhanced information (including data)
  • Minimal thresholds for participation
  • Coordination with wider industry
  • Reviewing contracts

 

Read the consultation guidance document here.

Read the full report here.

People on this project

Christine Chapter
Christine Chapter
Head of Innovation
Christine has recently joined Regen as our new Head of Innovation. She is looking…
Silvia Mills
Silvia Mills
Intern
Silvia has recently joined Regen as a graduate intern. Her interests lie in policy,…
Ray Arrell
Ray Arrell
Head of technical development
Ray leads Regen's technical development strategy, coordinating the development of the company's capabilities and…
Olly Frankland
Olly Frankland
Project manager
Olly manages a wide variety of complex projects. He has developed a strong knowledge…
Jodie Giles
Jodie Giles
Senior project manager - communities
Jodie is a senior project manager responsible for the delivery of Regen’s community energy…
Johnny Gowdy
Johnny Gowdy
Director
Johnny is a director of Regen and leads the development of our advisory projects,…
Madeleine Greenhalgh
Madeleine Greenhalgh
Policy and advocacy manager
Madeleine is the policy lead for Regen and the Electricity Storage Network, working to…
Kerry Hayes
Kerry Hayes
Project manager
Kerry is a project manager at Regen who has a broad range of experience,…
Rachel Hayes
Rachel Hayes
Head of networks and development ; Director of the Electricity Storage Network
Rachel leads Regen’s networks and development, as well as the organisation’s events, marketing and…
Jonty Haynes
Jonty Haynes
Energy analyst
Jonty is an Energy Analyst at Regen delivering a range of technical support services.…
Ky Hoare
Ky Hoare
Local energy coordinator
Ky specialises in local energy issues and supports the delivery of Regen’s community energy…
Mark Howard
Mark Howard
Project Manager
Mark holds a bachelors degree in engineering and has over a decade of experience…
Merlin Hyman
Merlin Hyman
Chief executive
Merlin leads Regen’s mission to transform how we generate, supply and use energy. Merlin…
Poppy Maltby
Poppy Maltby
Senior project manager
Poppy is a Senior Project Manager at Regen working on future scenarios and energy…
Frankie Mayo
Frankie Mayo
Senior energy analyst
As Senior Analyst at Regen Frankie has lead and helped deliver Regen's 'future energy…
Joe Noble
Joe Noble
Data analyst intern
Joe has recently joined Regen on a 6-month internship as a Data Analyst. Joe…
Hannah Stanley
Hannah Stanley
Events manager
Hannah is part of Regen’s events, membership and communication team to help keep our…
Joel Venn
Joel Venn
Head analyst
As head analyst, Joel is responsible for leading and developing Regen’s analytical team, as…
Ellie Wilkes
Ellie Wilkes
Graduate intern
Ellie joined recently as an Intern. She splits her time between supporting projects in…
Hazel Williams
Hazel Williams
Head of delivery
Hazel is responsible for Regen’s project delivery, leading on resourcing, quality assurance and developing…

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