January 2019 marked the launch of a six-month study in Greater Manchester, which will complete a concept design of what a Local Energy Market could and would look like to be able to respond to the challenges and needs of a place-based market. This project will mark another step in the region’s ambitious plans to revolutionise the way we generate, distribute and use energy, ensuring we meet our carbon budget targets.
One of the main aims of the project is to enable and increase the flexibility in the energy distribution network through innovative management tools such as building energy management systems, Market Aggregators and virtual power plants to allow a fast increase in the use of renewable energy sources and demand side response opportunities.
The project is being led by Electricity North West Ltd and will bring together the expertise of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), Hitachi EU, Bruntwood and local, private enterprise, Upside Energy. The £190K project is funded through the Government’s modern industrial strategy, Innovate UK, and UK Research and Innovation as part of their ‘Prospering from the Energy Revolution programme’.
Councillor Alex Ganotis, GMCA lead on Green City, said:
“This is a great start and a key element in our Five Year Environment Plan for Greater Manchester. Together with our partners, we need to review how we plan and integrate our future energy needs to decarbonise how we generate and distribute demand. This project provides the opportunity for us to demonstrate the value a Local Energy Market can bring to the region’s domestic and commercial consumers, through providing a platform for energy optimisation across a complex and highly populated region.”
Paul Bircham from Electricity North West said: “We are really excited to be working with GMCA and our other partners on this important project. It is another great example of how we are working together to enable the transition to a low carbon economy. A Local Energy Market will enable our customers to participate and benefit from the transition.”
Chris Oglesby, Chief Executive Bruntwood said: “We are hugely excited by this collaboration and the potential to disrupt the region’s energy market. This project provides a great opportunity to provide clean, locally produced energy and will act as a blueprint for other regions. A Local Energy Market will be of great benefit to Greater Manchester and support us delivering our Net Zero Carbon commitment. ”