UK Power Networks is to invest £15 million in active management network of its power networks in London and the southeast –including a new intelligent software platform from Smarter Grid Solutions – that will enable it to connect over 500MW of distributed energy resources such as wind and solar .
The so-called Active Network Management system will be able to run the South East of England’s increasingly dynamic network – now host to over 165,000 electricity producers – more safely and efficiently. The benefits include reducing the need to build or upgrade existing infrastructure, speeding up new connections, and enabling new markets and flexibility services.
Head of smart grid development Sotiris Georgiopoulos said that while many electricity networks operate some form of ANM, UK Power Networks is the first to undertake roll it out across the entire network at all voltage levels.
He said: “We are creating a platform for the network of the future and we’re taking it further and faster than anyone in the world has done before. This business-as-usual project demonstrates that innovation is truly embedded in our business. Having ANM integrated into our entire network control system is going to open the door to an almost limitless range of smart grid applications.
“It’s going to function a bit like your smart phone and apps. Once we have the core platform ready, we’ll be able to add a vast number of smart applications to it without having to build and maintain individual platforms for individual projects.”
It will also enable the company’s innovation project Active Response to demonstrate how spare power can be moved around the network to where it is needed and help deliver the benefits of the Optimise Prime project which is creating the world’s largest commercial electric vehicle fleet demonstrator.