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SP Energy Networks (SPEN) has started upgrading its electricity distribution network in Winsford, Northwich and in mid-Cheshire.In a press statement, SPEN says its £10 million ($12.8 million) grid modernisation programme will help the utility expand its distribution system and grid network management to meet current and future energy and customer demands.

The project is expected to improve the resilience of the company’s distribution network supplying electricity to some 70,000 residential and business consumers in Winsford, Northwich and in mid-Cheshire.

The grid modernisation programme is divided into five phases and is expected to last through to the end of September.

Grid modernisation proposal

Meanwhile, SPEN filed a proposal with energy regulator Ofgem to invest £45.5 million ($58.4 million)  in improving active grid network management within its distribution networks in Dumfries and Galloway

SPEN says the project would allow the company to improve management of its electricity distribution and transmission networks and connect a large portfolio of distributed energy resources to secure energy supply in its grid system.

Currently, SPEN says its distributed generation resources are regularly disconnected with the company’s energy system due to a number of constraints associated with the integration of renewable energy resources with grid networks.

SPEN is seeking £9.7 million ($12.4 million) of the £45.5 million ($58.4 million) needed to deploy the programme, from the RIIO-ED1 Innovation Roll-out Mechanism (IRM).

Through the IRM, Ofgem provides funding to utility programmes aiming to upgrade companies’ grid systems with innovative technologies at the same time directly or indirectly reducing consumer energy bills.

SPEN will also use the $58.4 million grid modernisation initiative to improve monitoring on its substations, a development which would enable SPEN to efficiently install low-carbon technologies over the next 14 years.

Active Grid Network Management

In related news, in late June, UK Power Networks (UKPN) and National Grid launched an active network management scheme to boost grid capacity as well as simplify connections for generators.

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.

UKPN said that the move marks a significant step towards its transformation into a distribution system operator. Read more...

 

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