Grid research center opens in Scotland


Alex Salmond,
First Minister,
Glasgow, Scotland — (METERING.COM) — May 20, 2013 – The University of Strathclyde’s Power Networks Demonstration Center (PNDC) was officially opened last week by Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond.

The center, believed to be the first of its kind in Europe, aims to accelerate the adoption of advanced technologies and convert ideas and research into low carbon solutions for the electricity industry of the future.

Located in Cumbernauld near Glasgow, the PNDC is a joint venture between the University of Strathclyde, ScottishPower Energy Networks, Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution, Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Funding Council.

The world class center is home to researchers, engineers and industry specialists who are developing new research and technologies, from advanced grid control schemes to intelligent sensor systems, in the facility’s controlled and safe environment. The 900 m2 building is equipped with high quality, innovative control and simulations systems and is home to a real life, reconfigurable power network independent from the national grid.

“Smart grid technologies are increasingly important as we move to a low carbon economy. Our ambitious plans for this sector demonstrate that it has the potential to create up to 12,000 jobs by 2020,” said First Minister Salmond. “I am therefore delighted to open this hugely innovative research center, which is a fantastic example of researchers, engineers and industry specialists working together to improve energy efficiency – this firmly putting Scotland at the forefront of smart electrical technologies and setting new standards in electrical distribution.”

The director of the PNDC is Dr Iliana Portugues, a former senior project manager at the Electric Power Research Institute in California. She also founded a University spin-out company, Elimpus, which provides products and services for monitoring electricity substations using radio frequency measurements.

“The challenges faced by the electricity industry are global and will require significant changes to the way we operate networks,” said Portugues. “One belief shared amongst all our founders is that this change, along with all the uncertainty and discomfort, really does bring opportunity. Initiatives such as the PNDC achieve this through a new type of collaboration, one which does not affect objectivity, independence or uniqueness.”