‘Resilience as a service’ could replace diesel backup with local energy generators and batteries in rural areas

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), Costain and E.ON have begun work on new solutions using local energy resources and battery storage to provide low carbon, cost effective network resilience in response to faults. The £9.5m project aims to provide ‘Resilience as a Service’ (RaaS).

Currently, a network fault in a remote location may require the use of standby diesel generators while the fault is being addressed, which means a delay to providing power while the generators are transported to site, and raises pollution and carbon issues. Instead Raas will use a market solution to call on increasingly common local energy resources and batteries.

Stewart Reid, head of future networks for SSEN, said of RaaS: “Our core priority is to provide a safe and reliable supply of electricity to the communities we serve. This project will show how we could revolutionize the way we meet this core priority in a manner that helps the transition to a net zero energy system.

“The proliferation of low-carbon technologies is fundamentally changing the way our energy system operates and is managed. This change brings tremendous opportunities, including driving value from local renewable generation and energy storage playing a role in local resilience.  The project focuses on real life application to allow us to mitigate and address any challenges that arise.  RaaS will be a key part in supporting batteries and distributed generation playing an even greater role in the UK’s energy system.”

Fundedvia the Ofgem’s Network Innovation Competition (NIC) and will address the technical and commercial aspects necessary to allow this solution to be applied at suitable sites across GB.

The project will last four years and applies key learning from E.ON’s earlier ‘Simris’ demonstration project in Sweden, which seamlessly disconnected a section of E.ON’s network from the grid and maintained supply during planned network interruptions using a combination of renewables, energy storage and smart energy management techniques.

The first phase of the project will focus on the technical and commercial development of the new solution, which will act in response to a fault and return customers to supply. In 2022, the project will enter its second phase, building and operating a pilot project. From 2024 the project will seek to replicate its learning on a wider scale.