Our innovation projects

Pixie Energy currently has four key energy innovation projects, designed to investigate and test innovative solutions to real-world energy challenges.

If you are interested in receiving a monthly update on our real-world energy innovation projects, or in learning more about how to get involved, please contact enquiries@pixie-energy.com or call 01603 542119 to talk to one of the team.

Our energy innovation projects

Developing innovative solutions to mitigate network issues

The Ransomes Europark suffers from export constraints and connection issues, affecting the current utilisation of renewable assets and roll-out of EV charge points on the park. This results in export curtailment of some plant, leading to inefficient outcomes for businesses located on the business park, especially in instances where they are looking to adopt low-carbon generation technologies.

These issues are expected to be compounded in the future, with further roll-out of renewable technologies and installation of EV charge points for use by staff members and/or customers. New approaches to network reinforcement and new commercial models can be trialled as part of the project.

We are establishing an innovative project with a range of local partners to test and develop innovative solutions to mitigate network issues encountered by generators and consumers on the Ransomes Industrial Estate. Subsequently these learnings will be deployed in other locations with similar physical characteristics.

The project can be a demonstrator for new commercial models and other market developments and will require active and appropriate engagement with the Distribution Network Owner – UK Power Networks (UKPN).

Exploring mechanisms to create value from changes in customer behaviour

This study was part funded by BEIS and delivered in partnership with Suffolk County Council and Ipswich Borough Council. It is explored mechanisms to create value from changes in customer behaviour. We modelled local production and demand initially behind the meter to enable testing the feasibility of commercial innovations based on specific assets. We used generation and consumption data that mimics actual usage by different types of consumers and properties.

This assessment allowed us to understand and model time of use tariffs and half hourly settlement, selling electricity to different customer archetypes using Cornwall Insight’s assessments of industry costs.

Pixie Energy has completed this work and submitted a final report to BEIS. We held a public engagement day in March 2019 to disseminate the findings of the project. The learnings have also fed into our real-world Ipswich Virtual Microgrid project.

Creating an auction platform to support independent suppliers in delivering the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) in a cost-effective manner

Independent energy suppliers face tough targets to deliver domestic energy efficiency measures to discharge the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), and are often forced to resort to paying their market rivals in the Big Six to meet their obligations. The BEIS brokerage platform set up in 2012, intended to create a market in competitive provision of ECO compliant measures, is seldom used.

Pixie Energy, in partnership with online auction provider e-POWER, has created a tri-partite online auction platform to support independent suppliers in delivering ECO measures in a cost-effective manner. It will reduce search costs and introduce a competitive element in the selection of energy efficiency solution providers.

The three types of party are originators, solution providers and suppliers. Originators are initially local authorities and social housing groups. They will provide eligible housing to the platform. Solution providers, which install energy efficiency measures, will then offer their best quotes to deliver work, and suppliers will offer to pay for the measures to discharge their obligations.

Following development of the platform, we held our first live auction in December 2019 to implement energy saving measures in households in Norwich, in partnership with local authorities, energy suppliers and energy efficiency installation providers.

Visualising the energy landscape within a mapping platform

Our Energy Data Hub is a tool which visualises the energy landscape within a mapping platform. Initially developed to cover the three “core counties” – Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire – various partners have allowed us to expand the mapping to cover the rest of East Anglia, Scotland, and the North East. Many visualisations now cover all of GB.

The energy landscaping layers include generators (of various sizes and technologies), network assets and availability ratings, battery storage locations, consumption data, CO2 emissions, local network flexibility requirement areas, EV chargers, district heating schemes, and energy efficiency metrics. We have also included many wider metrics, including supplier switching rates, supplier market share, flooding risk, deprivation indices, fuel poverty and sites for housing and economic growth.

The tool has already proved valuable in helping create regional energy strategies, and will be of use to planners, developers, energy suppliers, networks and many other energy stakeholders.
We are currently further developing the tool to increase the functionality and enable even more sophisticated information to be accessed by subscribers and partners.

Pixie on Twitter
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