Project Details


Energy Autonomous Community (Isle of Wight) will design an energy system that enables the Isle of Wight to achieve its vision of being self-sufficient in electricity from renewable sources. By developing a design for a flexibility marketplace through controllable heating, storage and e-mobility services, it will better balance demand and generation and create capacity for additional renewable energy sources.

The project will explore how to connect consumers more directly with local generation through concepts such as peer-to-peer (P2P) trading. It will examine how this can reduce consumer costs whilst eliminating the current curtailment of renewable generation due to grid constraints.

The project will focus on the West Wight area which contains approximately 15,000 households, a significant proportion of which are off-gas and subject to high fuel costs and carbon intensive energy. Conversion to flexible electric heating systems with storage offers the prospect of significant carbon and fuel cost savings whilst shifting load to times of local generation. This change in behaviour can be incentivised by Time of Use (TOU) tariffs and enabled by IT platforms which give smart nudges or 'snudges' to consumers.

The project will quantify these benefits and produce scalable and replicable business cases for (i) flexible heating, (ii) energy storage and EV charging packages for households, (iii) 3rd party ANM and (iv) a local ESCO to deliver the flexible market.

Utilising the Island's network model, developed by the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, all designs will be tested for their impacts on grid stability and capacity.

The project will bringing together a strong and committed partnership spanning local government, academia, SMEs, local community organisations and the technical expertise of E.ON's innovation team. The outcome will be a comprehensive design for a smart local energy system which can attract investment.

This whole systems project will illustrate significant benefits for the local community and will have wider national implications for the energy revolution.

Layperson's description

Energy Autonomous Community will investigate the opportunities arising from the development of a Virtual Power Network (VPN) and flexibility marketplace on the Isle of Wight. It will create a local smart system, with the flexibility marketplace at its heart, which will allow the Island to improve its local energy management and usage and to progress its energy autonomy vision, to be self-sufficient in electricity from renewable sources.

The Isle of Wight is already experiencing many of the grid capacity issues that are expected to occur nationally as the energy revolution gathers pace. It has identified the need for a smart grid solution to facilitate its vision, given the physical and financial obstacles to further traditional reinforcement.

The concept and design study will focus on the West Wight area which contains approximately 15,000 households, including a significant proportion (20%) of off-gas properties. It will investigate how consumers can utilise electricity in a smart way by storing (both thermally and electrically) and using electricity during periods of high renewable generation, and reducing demand during low production periods. This process is known as 'load shifting' and various means of achieving this will be investigated. This includes domestic systems which integrate rooftop PV, domestic battery storage and electric vehicle (EV) charging systems with the heating component; public EV charging points which have variable tariffs depending on the amount of local generation available; and large battery storage systems connected to solar farms. Together, these solutions will ensure maximum power usage of real time renewable generation.

The study will investigate how flexibility can give all generators the option to sell power into the local flexibility market and connect local generation more directly with local consumers. This is likely to require new commercial models such as peer-to-peer (P2P) trading and a platform which manages the flexibility system by informing consumers when cheaper local power is available.

These new models will be fully investigated to ensure that they can deliver consumer choice and energy security.

This concept and design study will explore the transition to low carbon generation. Whilst it will take place on the Isle of Wight, the results are likely to be replicable in any area in the UK with a desire for high levels of distributed generation and a wish for the community to be a primary beneficiary of that generation.

Key findings

Plan, business case and justification for additional activity to create an Energy Autonomous Community on the Isle of Wight. Part of the prospering from the energy revolution call.
Short titleEnergy Autonomous Community (Isle of Wight)
Effective start/end date1/02/1931/07/19


  • Innovate UK: £24,999.00

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy


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