National Grid seeks green alternatives to diesel backup

1 min read

National Grid is calling on industry to deliver low carbon alternatives to the diesel generators that provide essential backup power to electricity substations.

national grid
(Credit: Bethany Clarke/NGET)

The Call for Innovation (CFI) comes as National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET) seeks to explore the integration of new third party assets into the grid, including low carbon backup power systems as well as combined standby and generation assets.

Backup generators are used at over 250 NGET sites across England and Wales, the majority of which are diesel powered. Alongside batteries, these systems enable NGET to spring back into life following power outages, as well as providing backup power for core activities such as cooling fans, pumps, and lighting.

While these generators are rarely used – each has less than a one per cent chance of being called into action in any given year – they are carbon intensive, and NGET claims green alternatives could reduce that carbon footprint by up to 90 per cent.

“As the electricity transmission owner for England and Wales, we play an important role at the heart of the UK’s transition to net zero,” said Ben Kuchta, innovation engineer for Net Zero Innovation at National Grid.

“It’s important we lead by example, reducing our own emissions and working with others to enable and accelerate the transition to net zero. Finding new low carbon alternatives to diesel generators is another step on that journey and we encourage suppliers to come forward.”

The Call for Innovation is looking to hear from suppliers who can provide:

  • Low emission, backup power systems or combined standby and generation assets
  • Products that are of an optimised design to ensure space efficiency
  • Products that require minimal civil works to install
  • Have an interface with supervisory control and data acquisition

Interested suppliers can respond to the CFI here. The deadline for entries is 14 April 2022.