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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Andrew Urquhart, head of whole system at SSEN Transmission, outlines the response to the company’s earlier paper exploring the case for reforms to transmission network charges to address concerns that their volatility, unpredictability and regional variation are deterring investment in new generation.
Opinion
As part of our Countdown to COP campaign, Utility Week presents a showcase of some of the most promising energy storage technologies. Tom Grimwood explores the potential - and the limitations - of solutions ranging from flow batteries to liquid air energy storage and the use of gravity, among others.
Analysis

Latest in Electricity transmission/distribution

Utility Week’s report explores the need for change to historical low voltage network monitoring from DNOs and highlights advances in technology which can help them derive multi-layered value from new monitoring investments.
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A coalition of prominent companies, including Scottish Power and Severn Trent, have committed to buy 70,000 British-made electric vehicles (EVs) by 2030 at the latest, providing government and Ofgem commit to specific actions on transport decarbonisation.
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National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) has said SSE’s proposed response to the failure of a generator to remain connected during a “run-of-the-mill” network fault would continue to leave the power grid at risk. Speaking to Utility Week, ESO head of networks Julian Leslie nevertheless welcomed efforts to codify the arrangements.
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National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) has warned of tight supply margins over the coming winter, partly due the shutdown of the Dungeness B and Hunterston B nuclear power stations. The ESO gave the warning in an early version of its annual winter outlook released to help the energy industry and markets prepare for the season.
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Professor Sir Dieter Helm has branded the government’s decision to opt out of the EU’s internal energy market (IEM) while increasing its reliance on interconnectors a “mistake”, which threatens the UK’s security of supply during cold snaps.
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Utility Week explores the wide range of new roles and responsibilities an independent energy system operator may be asked to take on. These include a possible statutory duty to advise government, Ofgem, code managers, councils and other bodies, as well as taking on some secretary of state functions with regard to the Capacity Market and playing an active part in the rollout of hydrogen and CCUS.
Analysis
The government has pledged to introduce regulation for smart energy appliances "when Parliamentary time allows". This would set requirements based on the principles of interoperability, data privacy, grid stability and cyber security.
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As part of a flurry of energy policy announcements, the government and Ofgem have outlined their initial views on the responsibilities, ownership and structure of an independent system operator for electricity and gas. The consultation suggests transferring all responsibilities of the current electricity system operator but leaving some gas system roles with National Grid. It also gauges views on a privately-owned or public sector model.
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UK Power Networks’ (UKPN) chief executive has stressed that distribution network operators must spend “only what is necessary, not what is allowed” over the next five-year price control period. Basil Scarsella spoke to Utility Week about the network's ED2 business plan, his vision for an independent distribution system operator and why UKPN aims to become a “disruptor”.
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Pivot Power has signed a deal with Wartsila to install another 100MW of battery storage at Coventry and Sandwell in the West Midlands. The storage systems, which will each have a capacity of 50MW/100MWh, will form part of the 2GW network of “Energy Superhubs” that Pivot Power plans to build across the UK.
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