Network Excellence

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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.
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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.
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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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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

Networking infrastructure represents a real turning point for the utilities sector. To date organisations have been constrained by the fixed nature of their legacy networking communications infrastructure, and the technical challenges to keep up to date. Digital transformation is the only viable option to drive productivity gains through the whole organisation and in their IT infrastructure. Download this free report on the topic.
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Can the massive network infrastructure investment needed for net zero be delivered without creating adverse impacts on public engagement or the environment? In a new report, Utility Week and Hitachi ABB Powergrids, explore the challenge.
Analysis
With expanding AI capabilities, industries such as the energy, rail and telecommunications are witnessing growth in the adoption of UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, or drones). The increase in drone usage has already begun challenging the conventional methods of inspection and maintenance of assets. More importantly, it is showing the value of using innovation to overcome traditional challenges.
Opinion
Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks' latest tender brings the total amount of flexibility services procured to date for the distribution network operator (DNO) to almost 447MW.
News
Network operators have announced plans to build a “proof-of-concept” digital map of the energy system, including network assets, generators, and energy intensive users. The Energy Networks Association will work with Ordnance Survey and 1Spatial to pull together data from electricity and gas networks into an integrated map covering the entirety of Great Britain.
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Arenko has claimed using battery storage to provide reserve could save consumers as much £195 million per year after National Grid Electricity System Operator published the results from a trial last year. Utility Week speaks to the company's chief executive, Rupert Newland.
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Two semi-detached homes containing appliances fuelled entirely by hydrogen, the first of their kind in the UK, are to be built in Low Thornley, Gateshead. The project is being run by Northern Gas Networks and Cadent, both of which have input £250,000 of funding. It will also be part-funded by the government’s £25 million Hy4Heat Innovation programme.
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UK Power Networks and Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks have begun a trial of a new technology designed to spot network faults before they lead to power cuts. The system monitors voltage and current on electricity circuits and matches any abnormal waveforms with a library to identify the most likely causes.
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Key to the UK's success in reaching its decarbonisation targets will be fostering innovation, developing the skills needed to deliver on these ambitions, and collaboration across the energy sector, writes Emma Ford, head of gas construction at National Grid.
Opinion
Wales and West Utilities and UK Power Networks have begun trialling a new hybrid heating system in seven homes in Wales, London and the south and east of England. The system combines a gas boiler, an electric air-source heat pump and smart control software into a single unit that can be hung on the walls of customers’ homes in place of a conventional gas boiler and switch between using gas and electricity based on their relative cost and carbon emissions.
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