National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) and Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) are exploring the potential to use surplus wind energy for heating Scottish homes, instead of reducing the wind farms’ output.

The 4D Heat project – which is funded by Ofgem’s Network Innovation Allowance and also includes partners Delta-EE, Everoze and PassivSystems – aims to find a way to match the flexible demand from electric heat to occasions when wind farms are generating too much power, without impacting on the distribution network.

Work will focus on an off-gas grid area in northern Scotland with high proportions of electrified residential heating, and homes with potential to switch to electric heating.

There are currently around 380,000 such homes in Scotland which could move to a range of electric heating solutions, from storage heaters to air or ground source heat pumps, National Grid ESO said.

“This could be a huge win-win for the transition of our energy sector, reducing the amount of wind curtailed as well as improving the business case for low-carbon electric heat,” the company said.

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