The new scheme is aimed at boosting grid capacity in the South East of England as well as allowing generators to be linked up without the need for costly reinforcements.
UK Power Networks (UKPN) said that the move marks a significant step towards its transformation into a distribution system operator. [ENA initiative redefines role of UK DSOs]
UKPN’s head of smart grid development Sotiris Georgiopoulos, said: “The role of the distribution networks is changing, and we need to work closely with the national
transmission network operator to deliver cost-effective solutions.
“This is the first time in the UK that we see the distribution systems operator role in action, supporting the wider system.”
The organisation explained that managing electricity flows in the South East is complex, as a result of increasing volumes of renewable generation “and the multiple
interconnectors which the region hosts,” reports Networks.online
Its adds that transmission operators’ network constraints translate to generators in some areas of Kent and Sussex facing substantial costs to connect to the power grid.
Active network management
Active network management will be tested as a solution to enable the more granular operation of the grid. Detailed models have been built up of the local distribution
network and distributed energy resources.
The system is set to go live on Monday (26 June) and will initially be open to new generation customers connecting in the region. Existing customers are expected to
be invited to join in the future.
National Grid and UKPN have developed the scheme as part of the Energy Network Association’s open networks project – an industry initiative seeking to establish the future roles and responsibilities of network operators. The knowledge gained from its implementation will be shared with other networks, adds Networks.online
Nick Easton, programme manager for the whole system project at National Grid, said: “We are committed to working with network operators to facilitate the transition
to a smart, flexible electricity system. In doing so we will be able to optimise planning, investment and operational processes across the whole electricity system.
“As well as benefiting customers, this work is going to provide more capacity for renewable energy in a constrained area. For the first time we will see the positive
impact of what can be achieved when network operators work with the system operator to make things better for our customers, and this will set the scene for what we
can achieve in future.”
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