UK Power Networks launches open data portal to drive net zero innovation

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UK electricity distributor, UK Power Networks, has launched a new platform providing access to one of the biggest datasets on the UK’s electricity network.

The Open Data online portal brings together thousands of datasets from a vast range of sources to provide visibility of what assets the network operator has, where they are, what capacity they have and how they are utilised.

It includes details of nearly 1,000 large-scale energy generation sites connected across London, the South East and East of England in a range of maps and tables.

The website also features more than 2,000 data records of smaller Low Carbon Technology connections – like EV chargers and household solar panels, as well as other information like Long-Term Development Statement, earthing and soil data.

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Users will be able to layer different datasets to create bespoke maps, depending on the information they require.

Matt Webb, head of enterprise data at UK Power Networks, said: “We are taking the effort away from end-users in accessing and consuming network and asset data, and in the process fostering a community of open data users who can share and potentially collaborate together.

“The industry has told us there is a huge demand for an advanced, accessible and scalable open data platform. This is just the start, and we’re looking forward to continuing to grow the platform.”

More than 140 industry specialists with an interest in open data have collaborated to help identify how network data could be useful to others, for example:

  • Helping local authorities to create data-driven plans for reaching Net Zero emissions;
  • Supporting low carbon technology operators such as electric vehicle chargepoint installers, renewable energy generators and battery storage operators who can now save time and money in locating their equipment; and
  • Enabling greater collaboration between local authorities, housing developers, the electricity distribution network and national transmission network
  • Researchers, academics, and industry analysts will also be able to use the platform to create fresh data models and forecasts.

According to UK Power Networks, the datasets will have Application Programming Interfaces so users can automatically connect to data sources and get live updates.

This new portal is aligned with the company’s ‘Enabling Open Energy Data’ initiative, which sees UK Power Networks partnering with the Open Data Institute, ODI Leeds, Regen and Opendatasoft, and which forms a key component of the company’s plans to enable Open Energy, Open Innovation and its own plans in contributing to the delivery of net zero.