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Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has secured over £9.5 million in funding from Ofgem to deliver a project supporting low-carbon solutions for maintaining network resilience.

The funding is part of Ofgem's Network Innovation Competition and will support SSEN's Resilience as a Service (RaaS) project.

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As part of the project, SSEN is partnering with energy procurement experts Costain and utility E.ON to avoid carbon-intensive standby generation, while supporting network reliability and resilience, particularly for remote and isolated networks. 

When a fault occurs, stand-by generators are often utilised to maintain a customer’s electricity supply. As these are diesel generators, faults increase the carbon intensity of a household’s electricity. RaaS is seeking to ensure resilience can be supported by low-carbon solutions, by utilising a combination of innovative technologies including local renewables, energy storage, flexibility services and advanced network controls. 

The project will last four years and applies key learning from E.ON’s earlier demonstrator ‘Simris’ project in Sweden, which seamlessly disconnected (‘islanded’) a section of E.ON’s network from the grid and maintained supply using a combination of renewables, energy storage and smart energy management techniques. RaaS will develop a market-based solution to provide customers with a low-carbon, cost-effective and secure electricity supply, even during faults. 

Stewart Reid, head of Future Networks for SSEN said: "Maintaining this resilience as we meet net-zero is only going to become harder unless we apply new methods. These methods need to take advantage of new partnerships, local renewables energy and the advances in the digital world. The awarding of this project is a significant step towards meeting this challenge and we look forward to working with our partners, communities and other stakeholders in its detailed design and delivery. 

"The RaaS project will allow us to accelerate and de-risk the use of services for providing resilience, including enabling infrastructure, data exchanges and commercial arrangements, thereby reducing uncertainty for customers and industry."