WPD expects first tranche of digital network model to go live in 2020

Western Power Distribution (WPD) has been working with CGI to build a digital network model of its network using CGI’s Integrated Network Model solution (INM). The platform will present a digital reference model of the WPD networking ensure a consistent, robust reference model for any point in time.  

Following its inception on WPD’s FALCON innovation project in 2011, the INM project has been under way since early 2019 and is expected to go live in the South West in early 2020.

With more distributed, renewable generation connecting directly to the network, WPD’s role is changing to include managing real-time energy flows, and using innovation and new commercial arrangements to optimise existing network capacity. The digital model will support this transition from a distribution network operator to a distribution system operator (DSO). It is also in accord with recommendations from the  Energy Data Taskforce .

The transition from DNO to DSO will enable WPD to manage networks on a local level and better utilise assets through active network management, while also incorporating flexibility services. 

“We recognised that the transition to distribution system operator will be driven through engagement with external parties. Data is the key to enabling effective communication and having a digital representation of our physical network is a key pillar for addressing the Energy Data Taskforce recommendations,” said Graham Halladay, operations director at Western Power Distribution.