UK Power Networks pilots revolutionary grid technology

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UK Power Networks and Faraday Grid have formed an agreement to trial technology designed to resolve urgent challenges that electricity networks face – increasing renewable energy capacity and delivering value to consumers.

The trial will commence on the London electricity network in early 2019.

The agreement reflects UK Power Networks’ drive to find new and innovative ways to create smart, flexible networks and deliver value to consumers.

This will trial the world’s first Faraday Grid, a ground-breaking technology that could redefine how the electricity grid works.

The project aims to demonstrate how a Faraday Grid will create a smart, flexible electricity system that increases the capacity to deliver more renewable energy, such as wind and solar power at a lower cost to consumers.

The grid technology, an autonomous, self-balancing network installed within an existing electricity grid. Comprising a network of independent exchangers, it is designed to automatically smooth the intermittency and volatility of renewable generation and new demands like electric vehicles and reduce the need for backup generation and balancing services.

Implemented at scale, it has the potential to double the amount of renewable generation a grid can carry.

The agreement will see the exchangers deployed in UK Power Network’s existing London network for live testing in spring 2019. The testing will assess the impact of the Faraday Grid on the network, such as improving capacity and avoiding more costly infrastructure upgrades.

UK Power Networks operates some of the most sophisticated networks in the UK, providing an ideal location for the Faraday Grid technology.

Ian Cameron, head of innovation at UK Power Networks said: “We have recognised that Faraday’s technology has the potential to be transformational for distribution networks and the wider energy system. The technology is aligned to our ambition to become an energy platform business. We are delighted to be the company’s lead UK partner for testing and demonstrating its impacts in a distribution network.”

Andrew Scobie, founder and CEO of Faraday, said: “Energy systems around the world are going through unprecedented change to meet increasing demand for electricity in a sustainable way. Renewable energy has a critical role to play and it is crucial it is delivered at the lowest cost, so that the transformative benefits of electricity can continue to be enjoyed by all.”