National Grid trial adds more renewable electricity into power lines

National Grid is installing technology on its electricity transmission network that has the potential to expand the capacity of its overhead power lines.


Along with LineVision, a provider of non-contact overhead power line monitoring systems, National Grid is installing sensors and a dynamic line rating (DLR) platform on a circuit in Cumbria to increase its power carrying limit.

According to National Grid, the sensors will continuously monitor the transmission lines and apply advanced analytics to calculate the Dynamic Line Rating, which is determined by a power lines physical and electrical properties, including size, resistance and maximum safe operating temperature, plus local weather conditions.

In a statement, Lydia Ogilvie, director of Network Strategy and Operations for National Grid said: “To meet the increasing demand for electricity and deliver net zero, our network needs to grow, but at the same time we are continually looking at ways of expanding capacity on our existing infrastructure… National Grid is leading the way in using transformational and innovative engineering, integrating vital grid enhancing technologies like LineVision’s, to decarbonise and deliver world class reliability, at lowest costs for consumers.”

Grid Electricity transmission lines have been operated using a ‘static’ line rating that is calculated using conservative and static values for assumed weather conditions. LineVision’s ‘dynamic’ line ratings determine capacity limits by combining real-time conductor properties and forecasted weather conditions, allowing for more informed grid operations and increasing operational limits.

National Grid believes the new technology could unlock 0.6GW of additional capacity a year. By increasing capacity and allowing more renewable power to flow, this technology could also reduce constraint payments, with this trial potentially saving £1.4m in constraint costs a year.

The two-year trial on a 275kV circuit between Penwortham and Kirkby follows the implementation of LineVision technology on National Grid’s networks in New York and Massachusetts.

Hudson Gilmer, CEO of LineVision said: “If we are to meet ambitious climate targets by 2030, we need to essentially double the size of our grid. And while we need new transmission, we need to act now. LineVision’s DLR platform can double the integration of renewables on the grid right now.”