Delivering peer-to-peer energy trading across non-domestic Local Energy Systems

West Suffolk Council are looking for a partner/s able to trial peer-to-peer energy trading solutions alongside improvements to energy efficiency, renewable energy, grid capacity constraints and balancing.

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The Innovation Exchange challenge delivered by KTN, is supporting West Suffolk Council in identifying an innovative partner to come on board of their ACCESS INTERREG North Sea Region (NSR) project. ACCESS is a co-funded Interreg North Sea Region project, under Priority 2 Eco-innovation: Stimulating the green economy (Specific objective 2.2 Stimulate the adoption of new products, services and processes to reduce the environmental footprint of regions around the North Sea).

The project involves piloting smart energy solutions to develop a local smart grid. West Suffolk Council are looking for a partner/s able to trial peer-to-peer energy trading solutions alongside improvements to energy efficiency, renewable energy, grid capacity constraints and balancing. Responses are invited from single companies or consortia able to provide these services that will lead to environmentally sustainable innovations being implemented across the business. The winning business(es) in this competition will be given the opportunity to deliver their solution as a partner in the ACCESS INTERREG NSR project.


Europe is moving towards more sustainable, decentralised and digital energy grids. Cities face the task of coordinating the local transition of renewable energy generation and storage while maintaining grid stability. Integration between energy vectors (heat, electricity) is necessary to enable wider flexibility and improved efficiency. The North Sea Region (NSR) is leading the way, as many novel technologies and business models have been successfully demonstrated. But as the region prepares the transition, new challenges related to governance, finance and technology choices arise.

The KTN Innovation Exchange programme is working alongside West Suffolk Council and The Greater South East Energy Hub to reach out to innovators in the UK with solutions that offer peer-to-peer trading across local energy systems. The winning innovation will be invited to partner in the ACCESS INTERREG NSR project

ACCESS is a co-funded Interreg North Sea Region project, under Priority 2 Eco-innovation: Stimulating the green economy (Specific objective 2.2 Stimulate the adoption of new products, services and processes to reduce the environmental footprint of regions around the North Sea).

The ACCESS INTERREG NSR project goal is to trial peer-to-peer energy trading alongside improvements to energy efficiency, deployment of renewable energy and storage, and demand-side management. ACCESS aims to deliver 25% reduction in CO2 emissions, 20% reduction in costs and cut smart grid project development time by 30% with other potential benefits including easing of future grid capacity constraints through local power balancing.

Eight partners are working together:

  • UK partners: West Suffolk Council, IFM Education and Consultancy Services University of Cambridge
  • Belgian partners: City of Mechelen, Vito.nv
  • Dutch partners: Municipality of Amersfoort,
  • Swedish partners: City of Malmo, Johanneberg Science Park
  • Danish Partner: Aarhus University
  • Spanish Partner: Bax

Trial Site
Mildenhall Industrial Estate in West Suffolk has been selected for the initial trial. There are approximately 140 SMEs on the estate. The industrial estate is served by an electricity distribution spur therefore energy flows into and out of the site should be able to be monitored accurately. West Suffolk Council has a lot of involvement in the estate; the council currently own a number of commercial buildings on the estate, and has 272KW of solar PV installed on 10 buildings through its Solar for Business scheme, and has previously provided an energy efficiency advice service to businesses. The Industrial Estate is approximately 1 km from the Council’s new building complex, the Mildenhall Hub. Mildenhall Hub is a £39M building project to house all council services and would allow energy management to come in as part of the build. It means it is possible to install measurement systems and really deliver impact with this project.

West Suffolk Council believe that electricity use could be more efficient by sharing through the peaks and troughs across the estate and consideration could be given to storage solutions to store surplus energy generated. West Suffolk Council believes that with the right measurement, monitoring and software linked to the use of the energy, the local supply would be far more efficient and with potential for the energy management to control how it is ramped up and down and moved around the site including in the future, potential car charging, significant carbon reductions can be made.

The project targets are to:

  • Engage with up to 50 businesses on the estate
  • Use the proposed battery storage capacity and WSC funded solar PV generated electricity for additional storage in the local network
  • Measure and manage the local grid and support efficient use of the generated, stored and used energy, data collection of present performance to start as soon as possible.
  • Save 600,000 kWh and 250 tonnes carbon dioxide (CO2) annually due to the project
  • 15% energy efficiency improvement across participating businesses
  • Assess the potential to upscale across the Eastern Power Network.

West Suffolk Council is actively looking for potential solution providers to deliver technology and services to individual businesses that focus on local level scale. It is hoped that this project can demonstrate that it is possible to achieve locally balanced generation and demand.

The project team wants to deliver;
(i) Tangible solutions that the businesses can implement and then share the value locally
(ii) Consumption/user data to identify where the potential benefits of the project can be realised
(iii) Management systems that can support the demand and flow of the energy for the local users
(iv) Balanced energy generation that meets local demand
(v) Demand side management and the idea of shifting and altering work patterns around availability of energy and helping businesses better understand their use to allow them to cut use and save money.

Solutions are anticipated to come from organisations with experience in:
1. Peer to Peer energy trading
2. Energy Demand Side Management
3. Energy Monitoring
4. Energy Storage systems.

Whilst not limiting the technologies from solution providers, it is expected that solutions would consider the following in their application:

  • £/kW saved
  • £/company engaged (mandatory)
  • £/tCO2 saved

Proposals through the Innovation Exchange process will be considered in relation to the ability to match the specification of the project.

West Suffolk council would be happy to encourage and support collaborations. KTN are happy to support the linking of individual aspects of the specification of potential collaborators for companies who wish to submit a proposal.

West Suffolk Council will not consider solutions that involve:

  • Solar PV generation or other renewable energy technology systems as a standalone offer, the council has an established and separate supply chain and procurement process for this.
  • Approaches that involve individual door-to-door knocking, communication and promotional materials

Rewards and benefits
Successful applicants will be given an opportunity to pitch to the Challenger. The package may also include:
(i) Support from the Catapult networks and the KTN
(ii) Support in the implementation of a pilot or system
(iii) Technical support
(iv) Invitation to attend or present at KTN or Catapult events
(v) A potential business collaboration
(vi) Investor introductions (if investment is required)

Solution Requirements
Provider Requirements (not expected at ideation stage)

  • Work with West Suffolk Council to develop a proposal for the implementation of the service or technology to be provided. The proposal should set out how this will support achievement of the stated goals with clear information on how progress will be monitored.
  • The proposal should confirm the benefits of the of the proposal alongside the confirmed costs for implementation. Proposals should provide a cost per tCO2 saved or per kWh saved or energy cost reduced.
  • Provide the technology and/or services as set out in the proposal agreed with WSC Energy & Environment Team.
  • Provide information as necessary to enable the dissemination of project output. This could relate to energy consumption changes, energy generation, charge/discharge and energy cost savings.
  • Provide Project Activity Report detailing monitored outputs as agreed in the proposal.
  • To ensure that all communication measures or public facing elements of the project include the correct acknowledgments for the supporting bodies (including EU logos). More details will be available within the Programme guidance.

Contractual Conditions apply 

  • The Selected Innovative Technology Provider (competition winner) must be completely independent from all aspects of the project management and delivery. The Technology Provider should also not take on any new role which could compromise this independence during the life of the project.
  • Bids are welcome from organisations prepared to work collaboratively, who wish to establish sub-contracts or who have established legal partnerships as defined in the Partnerships Act 1890. However, WSC can only contract with a single organisation who must act as the ‘Lead Organisation’ on behalf of all other members of the consortium. This means that the Lead
  • Organisation takes responsibility for full performance of the contract.
  • The Selected Innovative Technology Provider must adhere to WSC procurement and contract requirements, see link for further details:…

Deployment Timescale

  • Launch of the Competition: 09/10/20
  • Deadline for applications: 13/11/20
  • Selection and notification of finalists: by Friday 27th November
    Pitch sessions Options Monday 7th, Tuesday 8th or Tuesday 15th or Weds 16th (TBC)
    The Access project runs from 15/01/2019 to 31/12/2022.
    The period of this contract is projected to run from 02/01/2021 to 30/06/2023.

Cost requirement and market opportunity
There is an estimated budget of £100,000

Eligibility and assessment criteria
Entrants to this competition must be: Established businesses, startups, SMEs or individual entrepreneurs

Applications will be assessed on:

  • Relevance to the topic
  • Maturity of project/solution
  • Demonstrable experience or previous delivery
  • Ability to launch project quickly/Ease of implementation
  • Coherence of the proposed business model
  • Feasibility/ economic viability
  • Development potential
  • Price/quality ratio
  • Previous technology partner experience
  • Suitability for the UK and European Market

IP and Potential Commercial Route 

  • Existing background IP associated with a potential solution will remain with Solution Provider(s). Where any new IP generation is envisaged, it will be subject to the mutual IP agreement of the Solution Provider(s) and Innovation Challenger.
  • Any commercial deployment of transferred solution or newly developed solution, through licensing, joint venture, partnership or direct investment, will be subject to the commercial agreement between the Solution Provider(s) and Innovation Challenger.
  • Where necessary, a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) may be signed to uphold confidentiality in the engagement between the Solution Provider(s) and Innovation Challenger.
  • Innovate UK and KTN do not take any share of IP ownership or enter into commercial venture through the Innovation Exchange programme.

To apply, visit the Innovation Exchange here.

Related programme

Innovation Exchange

Innovation Exchange

Innovate UK Innovation Exchange is a cross-sector programme supporting innovation transfer by matching industry challenges to innovative companies from other sectors. It does this by putting large businesses with technical needs in contact with companies who have the right innovative solutions, for faster development of novel solutions.


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