Network Excellence

Highlighting innovative ways in which networks are maximising efficiency while minimising operational costs

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UK Power Networks (UKPN) has launched a new online portal that enables installers to get quicker and easier decisions on whether they can connect green technologies such as electric vehicle chargers, heat pumps, solar panels and batteries. The electricity distribution network said Smart Connect was developed in partnership with Octopus Electric Vehicles in response to feedback from customers, who said the old process was confusing and time-consuming.
News
Western Power Distribution has launched an open access online portal offering a “wealth of data” on consumption, generation and loads across its network. The Beta Connected Data Portal is the first of its kind to be launched by a distribution network operator in Great Britain.
News
The government has granted £33 million to the Cadent-backed HyNet North West project as part of a wider £171 million allocation for its industrial decarbonisation strategy, which has also been published. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said the Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge funding has been earmarked for engineering and design work on nine projects in Scotland, South Wales, the North West, the Humber region and Teesside.
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Featured

Can power network operators deliver the scale and pace of investment needed for net zero without alienating communities or causing environmental detriment? A new report from Utility Week and Hitachi ABB Power Grids explores the challenge.
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Latest in Network Excellence

Digital Catapult has launched a cross-sector IoT Discovery programme, offering organisations 1-2-1 support on investing in IoT, with Northern Gas Networks participating in the first cohort. Rukmini Prasad, product and partnerships manager for IoT at the Digital Catapult, answers UW Innovate’s questions.
Interviews
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
Utility Week’s Future Networks Conference was a forum for lively debate on topics from the tenets of net zero-friendly regulation to how networks should support local decarbonisation pathways and what responsibilities that have for stirring up public endorsement of the transition.
Market insight
Building a 'smart network' where data can accelerate decarbonisation and cut operating costs is an agenda-setting priority for every distribution and transmission company. Already, network companies have chalked up their first trials and even moved into 'Business As Usual' territory. But as a recent debate and workshop discussion at the Utility Week Live Summit showed, there is still a long way to go.
Analysis
To deliver a cost effective and equitable transition to net zero, the full potential of system data and digitalisation must be brought to bear. But what key enablers must be in place to support this, and what specific outcomes should the industry be looking to achieve? Download our report for unique insight into expert industry views.
Downloads
Graham Campbell, chair of Energy Network Association’s Data and Digitalisation Steering Group and head of whole system and commercial at SP Energy Networks, offers an overview of the Steering Group and its priorities for the year ahead.
Opinion
Electricity North West has become the fifth distribution network operator to join the Flexible Power platform originally developed by Western Power Distribution as part of an Ofgem-sponsored innovation project.
News
National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) has awarded eight Electricity System Restoration Services (formerly referred to as black start) for the North West, North East and Scotland.
News
The arrival of greater distributed energy on the network is good news for the transition to net zero. But it brings with it new issues and challenges for network operators. S&C Electric explore how networks can mitigate a potential increase in fault current levels.
Opinion
SP Energy Networks (SPEN) is to launch its largest ever flexibility tender. Graham Campbell, head of distribution systems operation at SPEN, exclusively revealed at Utility Week’s Future Networks Conference that the company is seeking to procure 1.4GW of flexibility for 2023 to 2028.
News
The energy transition is driving transmission and distribution network operators to adopt new methods that facilitate multidirectional power flows. As part of our Countdown to COP series, Prash Desai of Burns & McDonnell discusses the role digital substations will play in that process.
Opinion
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