Western Power Distribution deploys Tollgrade LightHouse® platform for grid modernization project


Bristol, England and Reston, VA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — April 9, 2013 – British distribution network operator Western Power Distribution has deployed a new 50 Hz version of network assurance solutions provider Tollgrade Communications’ LightHouse distribution line sensors.

WPD is one of six electricity DNOs in the U.K. responsible for the Midlands, South Wales, and the South West, delivering electricity to more than 7.7 million customers over a 55,300 km2 service area.

With this deployment, the LightHouse platform is providing WPD with real time visibility into its distribution grid, allowing the network operator to improve reliability and optimize network planning as it eases its transition to a low carbon future.

“Our distribution network is the backbone of how we deliver electricity to homes and businesses,” said Ben Godfrey, Innovation and Low Carbon Networks engineer at WPD. “Leveraging technologies such as LightHouse allows us to improve our real time visibility of the distribution grid for the first time.”

The deployment forms part of the Flexible Approaches to Low Carbon Optimized Networks (FALCON) project, which is being supported by the regulator Ofgem, with funding awarded in 2011 from the Low Carbon Networks Fund. The project is trialing smart network interventions to release capacity on the HV network, which will allow greatertake up of low carbon technologies without the need for expensive network reinforcement.
To deliver the LightHouse platform to WPD, Tollgrade partnered with U.K. smart grid equipment supplier Powerline Technologies Limited.

The LightHouse sensors are combined with predictive analytics software to provide a combination of real time load and power quality monitoring with outage and fault detection.