Smart grids

Editor's picks

UK Power Networks has announced plans to procure 250MW of flexibility in its largest tender to date, worth £50 million. The distribution network operator is seeking flexibility in more than 130 locations, which for the first time will include extra high voltage sites.
News
Centrica has completed a £16.7 million three-year energy market trial in Cornwall that saw local and national network operators simultaneously buy flexibility for the first time. Participants in the trial, which included 200 homes and businesses, successfully traded 310MWh of flexibility over its course.
News
Western Power Distribution has launched a new domestic flexibility trial that will see households paid to keep their electricity usage at or below a pre-agreed level during weekday peaks in demand. This is in contrast with most previous flexibility services which usually require providers to reduce their consumption by a specified amount.
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Featured

Conor Maher-McWilliams, head of flexibility at Ovo’s smart technology arm Kaluza, discusses the company’s direct-to-car smart charging trial with Bosch, why some networks are easier to deal with than others, and how it is using artificial intelligence and machine learning to better understand flexibility in heating.  
Analysis
Utility Week speaks to Frederic Godemel, executive vice president for power systems at Schneider Electric, about their efforts to make switchgear both smarter and greener by integrating monitoring and communications technology and ending the use of SF6 as an insulator.
Interviews

Latest in Smart grids

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.
News
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.
News
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.
News
CEO and founder of the UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, Celia Greaves, believes the UK stands before a gaping ‘window of opportunity’ to take a global lead on fuel cells – despite ‘very little’ recent attention.
Comment
National Grid has teamed up with the Met Office to unlock spare capacity on its overhead power lines by incorporating more precise weather forecasts into the calculation of line ratings. The partners are aiming to leverage advances in weather forecasting and integrate a cloud-based forecasting service into National Grid's existing dynamic line rating methodology as part of a new innovation project. 
News
UK Power Networks (UKPN) has begun trialling a new early warning system for network faults at key sites across London and the South East. The company said the Smart Cable Guards developed by DNV work like a “doctor’s stethoscope” – continuously monitoring the “pulse” of the network to detect tiny electrical distortions similar to an “irregular heartbeat”.
News
Utility Week speaks to Paul Jewell, DSO development manager for Western Power Distribution (WPD), about its new two-pronged distribution system operator (DSO) strategy that is split between services that could be provided by either itself or a third party and “system enablers” that will be required by both.
News
Reactive Technologies has secured $15 million (£12.7 million) of investment from BGF, Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Eaton to export its innovative inertia measurement service around the world. The Grid Metrix technology, which the company described as “sonar” for the power grid, allows the inertia of the electricity system to be accurately monitored in real time by sending out pulses of energy and measuring the effect on frequency.
News
Utility Week’s report explores the need for change to historical low voltage network monitoring approaches from DNOs and highlights advances in technology which can help them derive multi-layered value from new monitoring investments.
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