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In the UK, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) announced that it successfully completed a five-year smart grid pilot deployed in Northern Isles.SSEN invested up to £18 million in deploying the smart grid pilot, called ‘Northern Isles New Energy Solutions (NINES)'.

Under the project, SSEN integrated demand-side management, energy storage technologies and multiple software, business models, and devices used to control and monitor energy networks.

The project integrated some 8.545MW of energy generated from distributed renewable energy resources with the utility’s distribution network.

Five renewable energy generation facilities were integrated with a 1MW energy storage system to provide electricity to some 234 homes. The houses which participated in the project are owned by the Hjaltland Housing Association.

SSEN said that in its deployment of the pilot, it developed one of the world’s most advanced active network management system and has learnt that an electricity network can securely operate with high integration of renewable energy resources.

The pilot also helped SSEN to understand how smart grid technologies can be used to manage how and when electricity is used for improved resiliency, efficiency and stability of an energy distribution system.

Meeting energy demand

The pilot resulted in energy used to meet 30% of Shetland’s energy demand being sourced from renewables and a reduction of diesel energy usage at Lerwick Power Station by 10%.

Stewart Reid, head of Asset Management and Innovation at SSEN, said: “By creating flexible demand on the islands, through the use of smart technology and energy storage, we have made progress in exploiting and maximising Shetland’s renewable generation potential and reducing the generated output from thermal power stations.

"This was an important achievement as it will inform the transition to a low carbon economy. It also offered us the opportunity to trial the technology in an environment which could then be applied to the wider-GB electricity network. The support for the project has been superb and we would like to thank the customers that participated in the trials. Their involvement was crucial to its overall success.”