11 projects put forward to compete for U.K. smart grid funding


Liverpool, U.K. — (METERING.COM) — July 9, 2010 – A total of 11 smart grid projects have been submitted to compete for the first annual allocation of funding for “flagship” projects from the U.K.’s Low Carbon Network Fund.

Up to £320 million over 5 years (£64 million per year) is being made available for these “second tier” projects out of the £500 million fund, which also includes an allocation of £80 million for small scale projects and a £100 million discretionary mechanism for award to successful projects.

In addition to the Low Carbon London project proposed by EDF Energy Networks (see EDF Energy Networks in bid to develop smart grid for London), which is requesting £39 million from the Fund, the other proposed projects are as follows.

Wires only distributor CE in partnership with British Gas, EA Technology and Durham Energy Institute is applying for £28 million for a “consumer-led network revolution” project introducing smart grid technologies to involve approximately 10,000 homes in the Durham area in the north of England.

Central Networks has put in two applications. One, for an amount of £21.15 million, in partnership with Milton Keynes Council (MKSmart2020) is to develop low carbon living in the city. The second, for £2.7 million, is to integrate distributed generation to the grid, in particular wind power, in East Lincolnshire.

Electricity North West has also put in two applications. One, for £6.3 million, is to develop a smart grid for the Northern Gateway development in central Manchester. The second, for £8.2 million, is to start developing the Corridor Manchester zone as a smart city.

ScottishPower Energy Networks has submitted two applications. One, for £3 million, is to trial using electric storage heating of approximately 1,000 customers for demand side management in Glasgow. The second, for £4.5 million, in partnership with the Mersey Partnership, EA Technology Consulting Limited, housing provider Plus Dane Group and the Liverpool City Council, is to trial a smart grid involving approximately 1,200 residential properties as well as businesses and schools in the inner city area of south Liverpool.

Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution has also submitted two applications. One, for £51 million, is to demonstrate the integration of renewables, storage and demand management in the Northern Isles (Shetland and Orkney). The second, for £18 million, is to demonstrate smart grid technologies in the Bracknell area of the Thames Valley, where the network is close to capacity.

Finally Western Power Distribution is applying for £9.5 million to trial the impact of renewable generation technology on different distribution network “templates” in the Western/Head of the Valleys and Cardiff in Wales.

The projects are being screened by Ofgem to ensure they meet the eligibility requirements of the Fund. Thereafter full bids for the projects are due by September 3, 2010, and Ofgem is expected to announce the winning projects in early December.