In this section, answers to these questions are scored by the assessors. Following assessment, you will receive feedback from the assessors for each question.
Your answer to each question can be up to 600 words long.
Question 1: Project description
Describe the challenges and requirements and how your methodology addresses them, including the main innovations that will be trialled. Provide details of:
- the project
- its outputs and the main inputs
- innovations and deliverables linked to the outputs, including any uncertainties
Describe the scale and scope of the project in terms of:
- the location
- numbers or types of users
- the capacity and diversity of energy supplies and networks involved
Outline the role of the new technologies, financing, business, and/or regulatory models, codes or standards, and the reasons why these are suitable for your chosen approach and location. Identify the options for learning and rapid feedback between the project and the wider market.
Explain how much enthusiasm there is within your chosen locality, and from the wider private sector, to contribute inputs (such as data, infrastructure, funding or experience from other sectors) to the project. Describe any local work that has either built capability, reduced risks, or contributes directly to the project in another way. You may wish to describe how this project relates to any relevant local, regional, national or international strategies, challenges and opportunities.
You can submit a single appendix as a PDF no larger than 1Mb and up to 10 pages long to support your answer. You may include images, maps and tables. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.
Question 2: Project structure
- your approach to project management
- the work packages and main tasks of the project
- who will lead each work package
- the costs, milestones and deliverables associated with each work package
- key local, national and international stakeholders for the work packages
- the additional economic, environmental or societal benefits resulting from the outputs from each work package
- your project plan in enough detail to identify the critical path, decision points, deliverables, milestones, any links or dependencies between work packages
- how your project will be split into distinct phases at least every 12 months so that formal funding continuation reviews can be held with UK Research and Innovation
- how project partners will work together and manage stakeholders
- how monitoring and evaluation will be built into the project
You can submit a single appendix as a PDF no larger than 1 Mb and up to 10 pages long to support your answer. You may include images, maps and tables. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.
Question 3: Business growth
How will your proposal drive the growth of a UK smart local energy systems industry?
Please provide evidence for:
- the level and nature of private sector and other funding available to fund this demonstrator and repeating and scaling it up in the future
- any opportunities for local and UK-wide smart local energy systems industry and wider supply chain growth and new high value jobs
- how this project will build opportunities to research, test and support the evolution of technologies, standards, codes, financing, business or regulatory models
- how easy it would be to repeat the project or expand it to other parts of the UK during the 2020s
- any potential for future commercial exploitation, both domestic and international, by project partners, and define your target markets
- any opportunities you expect to improve technology and market readiness
- any opportunities for UK business growth
Please estimate inward investment and export opportunities.
Question 4: Improving user experience
How will your proposal improve the experience of a range of users of the energy system?
- how you will engage with all the stakeholders that may be impacted over the lifecycle of the demonstrator.
- how you will be confident of recruiting end users for the demonstrator
- what benefits users will experience, such as costs, service provision or engagement
- which user groups and interactions will be targeted, such as domestic consumers, landlords, public sector users or industrial users.
- how well you understand what different users want
Tell us what information you have about the user experience, how reliable it is, any gaps and how it will be developed through the project.
Question 5: Energy system benefits
How will your proposal improve the energy system? By how much? Who will benefit?
- how this approach will reduce energy system costs, increase infrastructure productivity and competitiveness, and reduce fuel poverty, locally and nationally
- how your project will result in improvements to the environment, for example in greenhouse gas emissions, air quality or other aspects of the natural or built environment
- to what extent this project could accelerate national progress to meeting the UK’s fifth carbon budget and air quality targets
- how the proposal will increase energy security and resilience to technological, societal and environmental changes, including cybersecurity challenges and climate change
Please quantify and justify any local and national targets in absolute terms and relative to business as usual for the following:
- total energy system costs
- investment costs
- operating costs
- financing costs
- infrastructure productivity
- energy security
- fuel poverty
- greenhouse gases and other emissions
Please justify any estimates, timescales, assumptions or interdependencies. Indicate how you will overcome any limitations or uncertainties on data availability and reliability.
Question 6: Innovation
How is your proposal revolutionary?
Describe the innovations that are included in your proposal, including for example:
- new energy technologies, such as storage, local generation, efficiency measures, vehicle to grid, micro combined heat and power and multi-vector approaches
- new smart systems, such as internet of things (IoT) connectivity, novel sensor solutions, smart controls and automation, and data analytics
- new market systems, such as blockchain, peer to peer and aggregation systems for highly dispersed assets
- new societal engagement tools, such as gamification, voice control and integration with users preferred technology interfaces
- regulatory approaches, such as ones that can unlock system liquidity and maintain consumer protection
- how your proposal will enable more competitive energy markets in the future
- provide an internationally significant ‘test bed’ for trialling new technologies, financing, business or regulatory models, codes or standards
- opportunities you see for scaling up innovations that have previously been shown to work at smaller scale
- opportunities you see for disseminating and making use of research findings
- the impact on UK international leadership in smart local energy systems
- the information that you are able to generate and share with the wider Prospering from the Energy Revolution programme
Question 7: Team and resources
Due to the scale of these projects, we expect you to give a description of the roles, skills and experience of the core team of individuals that will be responsible for delivery of key tasks and work packages. Where necessary you may also want to describe the expertise that project partners or groups offers more widely, including project management, data science capability and the level of backup in case core team members are not available.
You should describe or explain:
- the roles required for delivering the demonstrator alongside the skills and experience of the team.
- the resources, equipment and facilities needed for the project and how/when you will access them.
- the details of any vital external parties, including suppliers/sub-contractors, who you will need to work with.
- the current relationships between project partners and how these will change as a result of the project
- the management reporting lines that will be employed
- experience of partner organisations working together in similar projects, particularly the track record the team has together in responding efficiently and effectively to the challenges arising on a high-profile and fast-paced innovative multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary projects.
- risks, timescales and backup options for critical resources
- any gaps in the team that will need to be filled
You can additionally submit a single appendix as a PDF no larger than 1MB and up to 5 pages long to support your answer including CVs of key personnel. Diagrams or tables are welcome. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.
Question 8: Risks
What are the main risks for this project, and how are you going to manage them?
Include a detailed risk register covering the main assumptions, risks, and issues involved in delivering your project.
Explain or describe:
- the probability, severity and uncertainty of the main risks
- which stakeholders will be impacted by the risks
- how risks will be managed, monitored and mitigated, giving details of contingency plans
- how the risk register will be monitored and updated throughout the project
Some of the risks you should consider are:
- project inputs, including procurement, recruitment, installation, commissioning, obtaining matched funding, recruitment of participants or consumers, access to key locations, and the availability of equipment and resources such as personal data
- project activities, linked to health, safety, environment, diversity, inclusion, reputation, cash flow, collaborative working, social, political, and regulatory risks, and stakeholder engagement
- project outputs to achieve the desired scale and quality in the target location
- how easy it is to repeat and scale, and your expectations for follow-on private sector investment
- wider local and national economic, environmental and societal impacts not being achieved
- how the project will ensure maximum value and minimum liabilities once public funding ceases
Please also describe whether and how stakeholders’ attitudes are currently aligned with the project, and how this might affect your risks. Indicate the risks associated with the project’s critical path against your project plan.
You should also detail risks that will need to be managed by the government, UK Research and Innovation, or other stakeholders outside of the project partnership.
You can submit a single appendix as a PDF no larger than 1MB and up to 5 pages long to support your answer. Risk registers, diagrams or tables are welcome. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.
Question 9: Added value
Describe the impact that an injection of public funding would have on this project.
Describe or explain:
- if this project could go ahead in any form without public funding and if so, the difference the public funding would make, such as enabling an acceleration of products and services to market, more partners or reducing risk
- the likely impact of the project on the business of the partners involved
- why you are not able to wholly fund the project from your own resources or other forms of private-sector funding, and what would happen if the application is unsuccessful
- how this project would change the nature, amount and timing of activity the partners would undertake (including R&D), and the related spend
Question 10: Costs and value for money
We are looking for a minimum 1:1 industry private funding leverage but would expect to see closer to 3:1. How much will the project cost and how does it represent value for money for the team and the taxpayer?
Describe or explain:
- the total project cost and the grant being requested in terms of the project goals
- how the partners will finance their contributions to the project
- any additional public funding
- any uncertainties and contingencies in costs, and how these will be managed
- how this project represents value for money for you and the taxpayer, and how it compares to what you would spend your money on otherwise
- the distribution of costs and grant across the project partners
- any sub-contractor costs and why they are critical to the project
- at least 2 funding continuation stage-gates linked to timely achievement of milestones and deliverables