Digital twin for management of large scale renewable energy next to depot

Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) are looking for innovative deployment technology to enable zero emission council fleets. Through this IX challenge “Digital twins for management of large-scale renewable energy next to depots”, CCR are looking for data driven approaches to deployment of future vehicles and infrastructure for ZEV.

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Challenge Details

Ten local authorities within the Cardiff City Region program have committed to explore solutions that will enable zero-emission council owned fleets to create demonstrable innovation projects that will help proliferate mass deployment. At a workshop this summer a number of challenges and opportunities that this KTN iX™ challenge will address were identified.

As an example, Monmouthshire County Council have several depots that operate different vehicles and services. (Add in the number of vehicles) These depots are often grid and space constrained and it will be hard to convert them for 100% zero emission vehicle use in the future.

Monmouthshire CC have a 5 MW solar farm already built and wish to relocate all fleet services to a large, centralised depot next door to the solar farm. They have a full range of vehicles(450 in total) from Cars, Vans, Passenger Transport and Refuse collection Vehicles. The site would also be an HGV MOT testing centre.

With 5MW of energy to play with and many different technology choices on the table, such as EV and Hydrogen they are looking for digital twin solutions that will help them utilise the renewable power generated in the most efficient way and avoid grid upgrades where possible. Some of the required functionality of the digital twin is below.

  • Run scenarios on vehicle deployment and optimisation
  • Evaluate charge points and H2 infrastructure needed to make all vehicles zero emission
  • Power depot of renewable energy – how much is needed?
  • What microgrids would help the depot
  • How could the model be expanded and adapted for other local authorities in CCR

A flexible approach will be needed to allow extrapolation to make data driven decisions about future procurement in a timely manner.

CCR comprises 10 Local Authorities and solutions that come forward should bring benefit and scalability to allow eventual deployment across all LAs.

Proposals are welcome for:

  • Existing market-ready technologies
  • Established solutions from other sectors of industry which can be adapted for this application.
  • Development proposals based on existing competences.
  • Universities and catapults with solutions above TRL 5 +

Potential solutions may come from;

  • Automotive
  • Rail
  • Construction and infrastructure
  • Heavy engineering
  • The Energy Sector
  • Data & analytic companies
  • Software providers
  • or from organisations with relevant expertise operating in any industry sector.

The challenge owners will not consider solutions that involve:

  • Solutions that are not scalable across and modular in approach
  • Solution providers offering generic advice

Rewards and benefits

Successful applicants will be invited to

  • Pitch their solutions at a KTN chaired session attended by representatives of the participating Local Authorities and the CCR
  • Potential access to innovation deployment through the CCR Challenge Fund Programme (Challenge Fund – Cardiff Capital Region)  which runs between 2021 until 2024,funding is initially being made available for market testing and exploring LEV Fleet Innovation opportunities for the region, aligning with, and building on existing infrastructure investments with a view to unlocking commercial opportunities and addressing public services needs in the region.
  • Presentations can be uploaded to KTNs Innovation Marketplace which is open to all Local Authorities

Solution Requirements

Functional Requirements  

  • Must work and be applicable across multiple locations
  • System should integrate with numerous data sources
  • Must accurately run scenarios and provide guidance on optimisation of the management of vehicles and energy.
  • Demonstrate a cost and operational benefit from an energy perspective to the local authorities participating in this programme.

Technical Characteristics   

  • Varied operational site and location conditions.
  • Scalable backend to allow the tool to be expanded for other purposes
  • Needs to be able to run and rerun multiple scenarios to allow staff flexibility

Costs will be proportional to deployability and demonstrated benefit. For the right product, the solution could be used across the client’s portfolio and wider. This challenge offers a multi-year development opportunity for the right solution.


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