Electricity transmission/distribution

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All six electricity distribution network operators (DNOs) across Great Britain have now submitted their draft business plans for the RIIO-ED2 price control to Ofgem, with spending plans amounting to £23.2 billion. Utility Week looks into the details.
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Ofgem has granted urgent status to a Grid Code modification proposed by SSE to address an issue over the fault ride through requirements for generators. SSE raised the modification after National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) instructed generators to temporarily restrict their output in instances where they did not stay connected and continue operating during a “normal” fault. The ESO said it has seen a “growing number" of these incidents which present a "serious risk" to the power grid.
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DNOs regularly publish Distribution Future Energy Scenarios, but these often overlook the developing complexity on the low voltage networks. As UW Innovate reports, WPD has now devised a new methodology, called EPIC, to capture data from local authorities and use it for more sensitive and localised analysis.
Analysis

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Cost-benefit calculations have historically stymied thorough transformer testing practices for all but the most expensive high voltage units on the grid. But is the race for net zero changing the maths for low voltage assets?
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National Grid has successfully erected the world’s first T-pylon. It represents the first newly-designed electricity pylon to be introduced to Great Britain for nearly a century.
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Latest in Electricity transmission/distribution

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution has been officially recognised by the global Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) for its carbon reduction ambitions. The network operator will strive to cut its emissions in line with the Paris Agreement goal to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
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As part of our Countdown to COP series, Utility Week speaks to Suleman Alli, director of customer service, strategy, regulation and information services at UK Power Networks. He discusses the legacy of COP26 but also delves into action his company is taking to facilitate on-street electric vehicle charging and how it aims to “write the book on green home heating”.
Interviews
National Grid ESO has begun using an innovative inertia measurement tool on a commercial basis following the completion of a grid-scale ultracapacitor in Teesside that will be used to send pulses of power through the electricity system. Reactive Technologies, which developed the Grid Metrix service, compared the pulses to the underwater sound waves used in sonar.
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Three possible pathways towards the decarbonisation of the economy have been set out in the Net Zero Strategy. The strategy noted that the three scenarios – high electrification, high resource and high innovation – are only intended to be illustrative, representing a range of practical ways in which net zero could be delivered rather than the mostly likely or preferred solutions.
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Western Power Distribution (WPD) has seen a surge in domestic flexibility in its latest tender, with more than half of the contracted capacity coming from households reducing or deferring consumption during periods of high demand on the network. The distribution network operator awarded contracts for almost 254MW of flexibility, bringing its total to date to 709MW across 62 locations.
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John Murray, head of EVs at Delta-EE, discuses the importance of getting the right mix of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and highlights some of the approaches taken in other European countries.
Opinion
UK Power Networks (UKPN) has launched an online open data portal to share detailed information about its networks across London, the South East and East of England. The distribution network operator said the portal brings together “thousands of datasets from a vast range of sources” that can be viewed in tables, charts and maps.
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After countless false dawns, it seems that the Heat & Buildings Strategy is finally set to see the light of day. But, industry experts tell Utility Week that government’s indecision has now led it to publish this crucial document at a very difficult time. David Blackman explores the likely key points and the level of detail expected.
Analysis
With just two weeks to go until the UN’s climate conference is hosted in Glasgow, Utility Week is concluding the Countdown to COP campaign with a series of interviews with sector leaders, expressing their hopes for the summit and what their companies are doing to drive forward net zero. We kick off with Electricity North West chief executive, Peter Emery.
Interviews
UK Power Networks has begun a new project to simulate the electricity network across London, the South and South East of England with the aid of machine learning. By modelling the power flows across hundreds of thousands of miles of network, the company said it will be able to operate its assets more efficiently and unlock almost 70MW of spare capacity that can be used to connect low-carbon technologies such as electric vehicle chargers and heat pumps.
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Opening up networks to competition could delay the construction of infrastructure required to deliver net zero emissions, industry figures have argued. Giving evidence to the House of Lords Industry and Regulators Committee as part of its inquiry into Ofgem and net zero, Cadent director of regulation and strategy Tony Ballance said competition for the delivery of network infrastructure should not be introduced on a blanket basis.   
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