Energy Superhub Oxford

Europe’s most powerful charging hub was installed in Oxford as part of the ESO project.

Lead Organisation

EDF Renewables (formerly Pivot Power)




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About the project

This is a holistic, wide-ranging smart grid trial which has demonstrated an integrated link between local and national energy systems.

ESO has delivered a grid-scale hybrid battery, 10MW private wire, and Europe’s most powerful electric vehicle (EV) charging hub. It has electrified part of Oxford City Council’s vehicle fleet and heat demand in social housing properties.

What did the project achieve?

  • 52MW hybrid lithium ion / vanadium flow battery directly connected to the transmission network.
  • EV charging ‘superhub’ with 42 fast to ultra-rapid chargers.
  • Delivered 40 electric vehicles into Oxford City Council’s fleet and supported 22 fully electric black cabs into the city’s taxi fleet.
  • Heating in 62 social housing properties converted to ground source heat pumps supplied from shared loop arrays.
  • ESO took advantage of an opportunity to connect Oxford Bus Company’s depot to the private wire, facilitating decarbonisation of up to 104 buses.

Key lessons learnt

  1. Regulatory impact across all areas of the project was significant in terms of the ability to realise value streams. Future projects need to be attuned to, and willing to challenge, the shifting regulatory landscape.
  2. Access to skills and expertise is critical, particularly within local authority planning, yet they are central to the strategic development of smart local energy systems. This includes legal, commercial, delivery, investment and technical energy system knowledge areas.
  3. Strategic planning and decision-making are important early in a project to fix the parameters for smart local energy system delivery. For example, a clear, well planned strategy for vehicle fleets, including depot planning, defines the infrastructure needs and availability that the wider smart local energy system can utilise.

In the video below, recorded as the projects drew to a close in early 2023, the speakers recount the challenges and successes they experienced.

Hear from :

  • Malcolm McCulloch, the Local Energy Oxfordshire project (LEO)
  • Tim Rose, the Energy Superhub Oxford project (ESO)
  • Gareth Davies, the ReFLEX Orkney project.

Next steps

  • EDF Renewables has connection agreements for 40 transmission-connected batteries across GB and is now investing in 5 more sites (2 in construction).
  • Kensa will market its ‘shoe box heat pump’ with smart controls and productise integrated heat battery.
  • Opportunity to expand EV charging at Redbridge Park & Ride to 10MW.
  • Deliver charging to Oxford City Bus Company on delivery of 104 electric buses.

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