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OpenLV project is opening up local electricity usage data – for the first ever time

This will provide network operators with much-needed information about levels of capacity for charging EVs on local electricity networks
Such data will complement other initiatives to assist the increased take-up of EVs such as smart charging, vehicle to grid technology and energy storage
For electric vehicles to continue with their increasing rates of predicted uptake, the challenge of local electricity network capacity at peak times needs to be overcome, and a new initiative is set to aid this situation: opening up data from local substations.

Currently, electricity network operators don’t have enough information about how much spare capacity there is on local electricity networks. This makes it difficult to know whether a cluster of EVs charging at peak times will push the demand over the limit. The OpenLV project will, for the first time, open up data from local substations, so that Distribution Network Operators (DNOs), and third parties such as businesses and academia, will have more information about whether networks can cope with rising EV numbers.

If the data highlights a potential capacity issue, then other initiatives could be implemented – such as smart charging, vehicle to grid technology, energy storage, or joining networks together – in preference to more costly and disruptive infrastructure reinforcement works.

The OpenLV project, led by project partners Western Power Distribution and EA Technology, is inviting the submission of ideas for how data from local electricity networks could be used to develop new apps – to help manage the charging of increasing numbers of EVs, as well as for other uses. At a time when the automotive and energy sectors are collaborating increasingly closely, the car industry and EV charging companies are invited to get involved in the OpenLV project.

A well-known case study relates to the opening up of data by Transport for London (TfL) to allow commercial organisations to develop apps to assist people with travelling across the capital. There are now hundreds of apps built on the back of TfL’s data, which reach millions of London transport users and deliver tens of millions in monetised time savings to its core customer base, all for relatively low investment.

Mark Dale, Innovation Manager, Western Power Distribution, comments: “The OpenLV project is making local electricity network data ‘open access’ for the first ever time. This presents a great opportunity for smart thinking and innovation. We’re inviting people, ranging from community groups to industry stakeholders, to come up with novel ideas for apps that can make use of this data.”

Richard Potter, EA Technology’s OpenLV Project Manager, adds: “We’re at an exciting point where different sectors such as automotive, energy and IT have opportunities to come together to help the UK move towards a smart electricity grid. Innovative ideas about apps that could offer people benefits are welcomed from all sectors, as well as from the energy industry itself.”

Organisations or individuals with ideas for apps that could be developed as part of the OpenLV project should complete a survey to register their interest at:

To watch a short video that explains the OpenLV project visit: by clicking on the image below

The OpenLV project was launched at Western Power Distribution’s ‘Balancing Act’ event, which took place in London on 5 October 2017.



OpenLV is a groundbreaking project that’s making local electricity data openly available, providing network operators with much-needed information about levels of capacity for charging EVs on local electricity networks.


MORE About OpenLV

The OpenLV Project is trialling an open software platform in electricity substations that can monitor substation performance and electricity demand. The LV-CAP™ platform is designed to integrate with third party products to enable network control and automation, and increased customer participation in network management. The platform will host applications provided by a diverse set of developers, such as community groups, businesses and universities, providing a variety of services to network operators, communities and the wider industry.

As part of the OpenLV project, the software will be installed in 80 Low Voltage (LV) distribution substations located in Western Power Distribution’s (WPD’s) licence areas – the Midlands, the South West and South Wales. The software could ultimately be deployed across the electricity network.

The project will use three approaches to demonstrate the platform’s ability to provide benefits to the network owner, customers, and service providers.

The OpenLV project could potentially enable apps such as the following to be developed:

Community group apps


  • Get to know my substation app

  • Reducing community costs app

  • Influencing community demand app

  • Community generation app

  • Low carbon technologies take-up monitoring

  • Real-time thermal rating – transformers & cables

  • Demand-side response for managed EV charging

  • Automated voltage monitoring and management

  • Examples:

  • Maintain statutory limits app

  • Load management app

  • LCT management in response to voltage variation app

  • Distributed generation control and automated energy storage control

  • Community information alerts

OpenLV Partners

EA Technology

EA Technology is an employee-owned organisation offering high-tech instruments, software, electrical services and technical consultancy to the operators of power networks around the world. Through its Future Networks division it delivers innovative end-to-end solutions to facilitate the introduction of low carbon technologies to future proof electricity networks, resulting in lower cost connections, prompt adoption and reduced risk to business.

Western Power Distribution

Western Power Distribution is the company responsible for electricity distribution in the Midlands, South West and Wales. Its business serves over 7.8 million customers and it employs over 6,000 members of staff to ensure the highest quality of service. Western Power Distribution is regulated by Ofgem (the Office of the Gas and Electricity Markets) and it is very proud to have been awarded the Government’s Charter Mark, now known as the Customer Service Excellence award, since 1992.

OpenLV project suppliers are Nortech, Lucy Electric GridKey, CSE and Regen.

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