SSEN wins international environmental sustainability award


Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) scooped a prestigious award for its work on the world’s largest commercial project dedicated to accelerating the transition to electric vehicles (EVs).
Optimise Prime is a three-year project to develop practical ways of overcoming the up-front costs holding back many of the country’s biggest commercial vehicle operators from making the switch to EVs.

Distribution network operator, SSEN, is working with global data technology solutions provider Hitachi Vantara and electricity distributor UK Power Networks on the trial which will see up to 3,000 electric vehicles take to the road.

The project has won the Hitachi Transformation Award, recognising initiatives accelerating business transformation and driving value for business and society. It will now go forward for the People’s Choice Award, with the overall winner globally to be decided by a public vote.

Richard Hartshorn, EV Readiness Manager at SSEN said:  “We are delighted that Optimise Prime has been recognised by this international award. The project will create a detailed picture of the demands of electric fleet and private hire vehicles, making it possible to develop solutions that cut the cost of owning and running electric vehicles, such as charging EVs outside the electricity network’s peak times. 
“The learnings that Optimise Prime will generate will be fundamental to speed the transition towards a cleaner, greener Great Britain.”

Optimise Prime is looking at what the switch to EVs means for the cables and substations that deliver electricity to the community, for the businesses that need to invest in new infrastructure, and for EV users.  It is looking at all EVs and including depot, home and on-the-road charging scenarios. 
SSEN, part of SSE plc, has committed to ambitious targets to accommodate 10 million EV’s on GB roads by 2030 by investing in electricity network flexibility and infrastructure, supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

SSE has also signed up to the Climate Group’s global EV100 initiative and pledged to switch its 3,500 strong vehicle fleet to electric by 2030 and install charging points for its 21,000 employees to use and is partnering with the Scottish Government to trial projects that widen access to electric vehicle charging networks and provide the electricity infrastructure needed to support it.

The Hitachi Vantara’s People’s Choice Award will be unveiled at the NEXT 2019 conference this week.