Representatives from electricity distribution network operators (DNOs) across the UK attended a smart grid knowledge-sharing event, where Northern Powergrid – the DNO for the Northeast and Yorkshire – shared the latest progress from a range of innovative ‘smart grid’ trials.
More than fifty attendees heard how the Customer-Led Network Revolution (CLNR) project has successfully procured, installed and is commissioning innovative network technologies, as part of the project which aims to facilitate the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy. The results from these network technology trials will be shared throughout 2014.
Members of the project team were on-hand to discuss various CLNR trials, including electrical energy storage, real-time thermal rating, enhanced automatic voltage control and the active network management control system being developed for the project − the Grand Unified Scheme (GUS).
Chris Thompson, CLNR Project Delivery Manager at Northern Powergrid said: “This event was a fantastic opportunity for us to share what we’re achieving through the CLNR project with our peers.
“The CLNR project could be described as a ‘smart grid in a box’, because we we are looking at a range of solutions including new technologies, customer flexibility and demand-side response and exploring how these different solutions can work together to create a smarter, more efficient electricity network. We want to identify the most cost-effective ways to facilitate the low carbon transition whilst ensuring our customers continue to receive a safe, secure and affordable electricity supply both now and in the future.
“Of course all of the individual elements of our trials are crucial, but what’s important is how we bring them all together to create an effective, sustainable and truly integrated smart grid that can benefit our customers.
“This is something we’re already working on; developing new planning tools that will help us design future networks, and a complex active network management system that can offer us comprehensive, real-time control and decision making.
“As an industry, we need to work collaboratively and share best-practice, so it was a real positive that so many people could join us for this event.”
As well as receiving a comprehensive update on the progress of the CLNR network trials, delegates were invited to talk to the project team about the lessons learnt during a complex specification, procurement and installation process.
Northern Powergrid took guests on a tour of its energy storage installations, including its 5 Megawatt battery in Darlington, currently the largest installed and commissioned energy storage battery in the UK. Delegates also got an early look at some of the project output’s with a live demonstration of the NPADDs network planning and design tool and an overview of the GUS active network management system.
On bringing innovation into business-as-usual, Chris Thompson said: “Getting to this point in the project has required a massive amount of coordination and planning but we have now laid all the foundations for an exciting 2014, when we will be able to share more of the learning from the project, which we expect will have significant implications for both DNOs and customers in signposting future network planning and policy.”