UK Power Networks updates DSO transformation plans


UK Power Networks has revealed eight key elements of focus to transform its grid into a smart energy system.

The eight key areas were identified during the company’s 2017 Future Smart consultation and they include:

  • Accelerating roll-out of Active Network Management to facilitate quicker and cheaper connections
  • Continue to run flexibility tenders for Distributed Energy Resource (DER) and improve understanding of our flexibility needs
  • Support local energy growth through providing information and collaboration
  • Educate and inform different customer groups of the transition to DSO (Distribution Systems Operator) and opportunities of the future of energy
  • Improve network visibility and monitoring at the lower voltage levels to accommodate DER growth, prioritising areas where we see electric vehicle clustering
  • Consider how vulnerability might change as a result of future energy developments and explore who will serve and respond to the needs of vulnerable customers
  • Clarify the DSO’s roles and responsibilities as separation steps are taking place in National Grid at the transmission level
  • Strengthen the collaboration between different energy sectors such as transport, heat and gas to influence electricity networks within a systems approach

Areas of focus identified, if implemented, would help UK Power Networks to provide its customers with clean and affordable energy, access to low cost and hassle free electric vehicle charging and the utility to support community energy schemes.

The consultation was conducted to help the utility make informed decisions in its 2018/2019 Distribution System Operator plans.

The consultation resulted in 32 responses from customers, industry partners, government, community groups, generators, regulator charities and suppliers.

Over 90% of respondents agreed with the utility’s roadmap to become a distribution system operator.

Sotiris Georgiopoulos, Head of Smart Grid Development, said, “We have already begun our transition to become a DSO so that we can empower and enable our customers and the communities we serve to benefit from a decentralised, decarbonised and digitised system. The responses we got to the consultation have given us confidence that we are going in the right direction, and given us inspiration for how we can continue to improve.”