Project LEO (Local Energy Oxfordshire)

Project LEO has supported the development of a wide range of local energy projects at the grid edge and a new local market platform for electricity system flexibility.

Lead Organisation

Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks




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About the project

The project has developed a robust evidence base showing the technological, market and social conditions needed for a greener, more flexible, and fairer electricity system. Grid-edge projects include solar panels, batteries, hydro generation, vehicle-to-grid and demand management. These sit alongside a series of smart-fair neighbourhood trials which engage with community-level energy, social, economic and environmental issues. LEO has brought together many of these grid-edge projects to deliver flexibility which can support efficient use of the electricity network and maximise the value of the local energy portfolio.

Credit: Low Carbon Hub
Credit: Low Carbon Hub

What did the project achieve?

  • Delivery of demonstration and trial local energy projects, many of which have participated in delivering local flexibility.
  • Development of local Distribution System Operator (DSO) market framework and trading platforms.
  • Significant improvements in network visibility through installation of more than 100 data monitoring stations.
  • Successfully completed DSO market trials to procure network services and enable peer-to-peer network capacity trading.
  • Regional and local mapping tools bringing together dozens of data layers to provide a geographical visualisation of energy use, constraining factors, and opportunities for smart local energy systems.
  • Improved understanding of the barriers and opportunities for local communities and others on the grid edge to participate and benefit from smart local energy systems.

Key lessons learnt

  1. Local area energy planning can help identify the potential for flexibility from local energy assets and support valuable economic, environmental, and social outcomes.
  2. Revenues from flexibility need to be built into a wider business case for local energy assets.
  3. Standardisation, automation and simplification will be important in enabling flexibility from the grid edge, as will investment in data and digital.

Speaking at the Prospering from the Energy Revolution programme’s Energy-smart places conference in February 2023, Melanie describes Project LEO’s aims, challenges, achievements and next steps in the video below.

Next steps

  • Project TRANSITION will run further DSO market trials in which projects developed through LEO will be able to participate.
  • Follow-on projects, including applications to Ofgem’s Strategic Innovation Fund, aim to further develop the LEO markets.

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