The SMART Fintry project aimed to develop, and demonstrate, a replicable means of trading and charging for electricity to allow UK consumers to buy their power direct from nearby renewable energy generators – without the need to install duplicate grid infrastructure. This goal was to drive down electricity costs and reduce carbon for consumers located near renewable electricity generators. Deliverables included –
- a new tariff charging structure providing a virtual link between local energy production and consumption via a peer to peer trading platform, introducing flexibility in use of system charging
- a real time measurement and control system which will provide load transparency at a distribution network level
- improved forecasting methods to reduce pricing risk associated with variable generation
- proposals for a Demand Side Management (DSM) focused policy framework
The overall objective of the SMART Fintry project was to pilot a replicable local energy economy that linked local, sustainable generation with consumption and which could be beneficially adopted by other communities across the UK.
Additional objectives included:
- to use locally generated renewable electricity in the community to reduce energy costs and alleviate fuel poverty
- to address and overcome contractual barriers within the electricity market that act to prevent this direct linkage of production and consumption
- to investigate the impact of communities moving from price takers to price setters on energy bills and assess how this changes the role of the energy supplier
- to provide improve comfort and reduce fuel bills and emissions within Fintry
- to retain and enhance local value and economic resilience
- to work with the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) to provide transparent, real time information, relating to network operation which informs, and where possible helps shape, the connections design process
- to develop and expand on the work of Fintry Community Energy in becoming a community energy supplier, a model used in several other European countries such as Germany and Denmark
- to develop a framework to help shape future policy relating to distributed energy use.