Octopus Energy (Octopus), a UK energy supply company, has announced that it has taken over management of 100MW of electric vehicle (EV) charging power through its ‘Intelligent Octopus’ charging tariff, which it claims is the region’s largest virtual power plant (VPP).
A VPP is a cloud-based power plant that uses remote control technology, such as IoT, to distribute energy supplied from scattered sources and provide stability to the grid.
VPPs can be useful for the management of various renewable energy sources, which may be more or less reliable in different locations or at certain times of year.
Intelligent Octopus was launched in 2022 to manage smart tech solutions, and is intended to provide cheap and clean electricity at the rate of 10p per kilowatt hour (kWh). It works by supplying electricity according to grid demand.
According to Octopus, this means customers can charge their EVs for less than a third of what it would typically cost to charge on a standard tariff, representing savings of 3p per mile in fuel costs.
Octopus claims its tariff now covers enough vehicles to represent the largest battery capacity on the grid, overtaking the Minety Battery Storage Facility in Wiltshire, and represents the equivalent energy to power a city the size of Leicester for an hour.
Through the app, customers can set the time and amount they want their vehicle charged by, with the company’s energy technology platform, Kraken, then supporting EVs to automatically charge cars when more low-cost energy is available.
Octopus suggests that, by operating in this way, it can contribute to a flexible green grid that doesn’t require expensive balancing costs, consequently bringing down energy bills for everyone.
Alex Schoch, head of flexibility at Octopus Energy, said: “We urgently need to build flexible grid technology to turbocharge the green energy system.
“The tariff acts as a virtual power plant, shifting demand out of peak times and therefore cutting bills for everyone.
“As more electric cars take the road and steal market share from old-school gas-guzzlers, we need even more solutions like Intelligent Octopus to handle the extra devices, increase the grid’s resilience and promote a green energy future.”
As well as across the UK, Intelligent Octopus is also live in Texas.