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In a 2020 report produced for SSEN, ‘E-tourism: charging demand by electric vehicles in Scottish tourist hotspots’, Element Energy investigated the demand for electric vehicle charging in popular tourist towns, at tourist attractions, and along popular tourism travel routes in northern Scotland.

For each of the eight modelled case studies, the report assessed the impact of demand on the electricity distribution network. The analysis took account of weekend peak and weekday average visitor numbers and car trips throughout the year, in combination with anticipated electric vehicle uptake.

The results, assessing expected network constraint, highlight locations where substations are expected to cope with the increased demand (using flexibility services and other local solutions), and those where network upgrades will be required.

Since publication of the initial report, the project has proceeded to conduct detailed power flow analyses and develop and trial innovative flexibility solutions. These aim to mitigate seasonal demand peaks, and avoid costly network upgrades. The work also provides a methodology that can be used to inform network upgrade strategies for other tourist locations.