Photo via Hackney Gazetta
Today, Verv, a London-based eco-tech startup, has announced plans to launch the first energy trading community in the United Kingdom at a housing estate in Hackney.
Verv, which was established by Green Running, a group of data scientists and machine learning experts, will test its peer-to-peer energy trading tool that is called Verv 2.0, to provide residents at the Banister House estate of Hackney with cheaper energy.
The project will be operated in collaboration with the London-based social enterprise Repowering, with an aim to pave the way for community-owned energy.
The tool, which makes use of artificial intelligence (AI) to allow customers with renewable battery storage and energy supplies to directly sell surplus power to their neighbours, could be available across the United Kingdom depending on the results of the company’s trial.
The project follows the largest community energy scheme of the United Kingdom on social housing, Banister House Solar. With the Hackney Council’s support, solar panels were installed on seventeen of the blocks of flats that make up Banister House.
With the trading tool of Verv, intermittent solar energy can be stored and traded between the flats.
The chief executive of Verv, Peter Davies said: “We are on a mission to give the consumer control of their energy and the Banister House project is a fantastic opportunity to bring to life just how much this P2P infrastructure can benefit areas such as social housing.
“The fact that we will be physically trading energy for the first time is a very exciting prospect.”
The energy efficiency and community engagement officer for Repowering, Jack Dangerfield, stated: “Having completed a project to install community-owned solar PV at Banister House, residents have always asked if there could be a way to use the clean renewable energy themselves. Frustratingly, due to the structure of the UK electricity market, this has not been possible so far, and the majority of the electricity is exported to the grid.
“We’re delighted to be working alongside Verv, who are providing residents with the means to take the first steps to overcome this challenge, and start powering their community with sunshine.”
The project will begin early in 2018 and it will run for 12 months.