Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution (SSEPD) has received approval and funding from Ofgem for its £64m low-carbon network projects in the Thames Valley and Shetland.
The New Thames Valley Vision (NTVV) is a £30m project in Bracknell that aims to prepare the local low-voltage network for the changes that lie ahead as people and companies adopt new technologies for generating electricity.
In a statement, SSEPD said the move towards a low-carbon economy means that more demands will be made on the electricity network as electricity generated from renewable sources starts to replace other forms of power.
NTVV will apply ‘smart analytics’ to the information it gathers to help develop models, which will allow distribution assets to be used even more effectively.
The project will involve a new network and planning environment, automated demand side management for businesses, low-voltage static voltage control, street-level energy storage and a range of communications solutions. It will also deliver new commercial agreements, procedures and policies, and will inform national standards.
In Scotland, the Northern Isles New Energy Solutions (NINES) is a £34m project aimed at addressing some of the most pressing energy challenges that Shetland currently faces by allowing small-scale renewable generation to play a more significant role in meeting the islands’ energy needs.
Ofgem’s acting senior partner for smarter grids, governance and distribution, Rachel Fletcher, said: ‘Britain’s energy grids need to undergo a revolution in how they are run so they can connect more renewable generators and a range of low-carbon technologies.
‘There is a significant opportunity for companies to contain the cost of this transition by making better use of existing capacity and exploring the scope to use demand side response. Lessons learnt from the projects will be shared with all network companies and other interested parties,’ she said.