National Grid expands use of power flow control optimisation technology

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Following a successful pilot of power flow control technology, National Grid Electricity Transmission is expanding the rollout of the solution to enhance its flexible energy capacity.

In a statement, National Grid said deploying the technology at a wider scale has enabled the utility to optimise the management of an increasing amount of capacity from distributed energy resources.

In the first stage, the energy firm deployed some 48 smart valves across five circuits at three substations in North England, a development that has unlocked 1.5GW of flexible capacity – enough electricity to power 1 million UK households.

The expansion of the project is expected to unlock an additional 500MW of flexible capacity – the electricity required by some 300,000 households. The smart wires will be deployed in Harker and Penwortham through 2022.

With calls to accelerate the energy transition through the deployment of clean capacity increasing, flexible energy is critical as it enables utilities to avoid the high cost associated with the development of new energy generation infrastructure.

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Demand-side management enables utilities to deliver the energy transition in a cost-effective manner and ensure that consumers are provided with affordable and clean capacity.

In addition, National Grid states the smart wires allow them to address grid challenges such as renewable energy curtailment and fluctuation and to make sure that circuits on the distribution grid are not either over or underloaded to ensure power quality.

Zac Richardson, the director of new infrastructure at National Grid said the project falls under efforts by the transmission firm to make use of digital technologies to enhance customer services and prepare itself as a utility of the future.

In a report released by the National Grid and partners, as part of Zero 2050 strategy, increasing renewable energy capacity through the decentralisation and distributed model and further investigating the role of demand response have been identified as critical factors in unlocking a net-zero energy system in South Wales, one of the service territories of the National Grid.

The report calls for increased deployment of solar, wind, hydrogen, energy efficiency and circular economy programmes and at the same time stresses the important role of demand response in ensuring reliable grid networks and simplifying the transition to net-zero.

A representative from National Grid is one of the speakers speaking at Enlit Europe 2021 in Milan. Russell Fowler, senior project manager of transport decarbonisation at National Grid, will be speaking about how smart mobility can be used for grid balancing.

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