Energy networks excellence celebrated at virtual awards ceremony

UK Power Networks and SGN were both recognised as top performers at a virtual ceremony for the Network Awards today.

UKPN scooped the top prize for Network of the Year and also claimed the Stakeholder Engagement Award for its work to combat fuel poverty in its license area.

SGN, meanwhile, took three awards – Cross Vector Project of the Year, Engineering Project of the Year and Innovation Project of the Year. Its Real Time Networks innovation initiative was also highly commended in the Data Project of the Year category, making it the most celebrated network of the night.

The virtual awards ceremony, hosted by technology and engineering celebrity Kate Bellingham, was watched by over 250 viewers from across the energy networks industry and its supply chain. A full list of the awards categories and winners can be found below.

In addition to the core awards categories, the ceremony also introduced an Outstanding Contribution to Industry Award for the first time.

This category was created by Utility Week to recognise each year an individual working within the energy networks sector who has given tirelessly of their expertise in the interests of the sector.

The inaugural Outstanding Contribution to industry Award was presented to John Scott, who has held roles including director of engineering at National Grid and technical director at Ofgem during his career.

More recently, Scott has played a leading role in the development of key industry innovation and reform initiatives. For example, he acted as chair for the industrial advisory group at the Flexis project, a £24m scheme to build a world class energy system research capability in Wales.

Scott has recently retired from active service in the energy industry. On receiving his Outstanding Contribution to industry award, he said he was “amazed, honoured and delighted”.

Scott added that he felt the introduction of the new awards is “timely” because “the sector changes ahead will be very challenging and will really require the insights and the contributions of many parties – not just corporates, not just institutions, but individuals.”

Offering her congratulations to all the Network Awards finalists and winners, Utility Week Content director Jane Gray said: “While we were of course sorry not to be able to celebrate everyone’s achievements at the awards ceremony we had planned to hold in March, it was nevertheless a great privilege to be able to bring so many passionate, committed and expert network industry professionals together virtually, for a fun evening of recognition and entertainment.

“It was great to see individuals and teams getting into the spirit of the event. Not least because so many of the people who attended have been playing a key role in the coronavirus response, keeping customers, businesses and critical sites connected and protected. We wanted a way to say thank you for that work, as well as recognising the outstanding entries we received to the Network Awards, before the pandemic disrupted our world.”

The winners in full:

Cross Vector Project of Year: SGN, for its East Neuk project

Data Project of the Year

  • Winner: ElectraLink, Western Power Distribution and IBM for their Low Carbon Technologies Detection Project
  • Highly commended: SGN’s Real Time Networks project.

Health & Safety Initiative of the Year: Gas Networks Ireland for its Hazard Reporting App

Engineering Project of the Year: SGN and its Erskine Bridge project – going underground

Innovation Project of the Year – Electricity: Electricity North West and Smart Street

Innovation Project of the Year – Gas:

  • Winner: SGN’s Real Time Networks project
  • Highly Commended: Lagoni Engineering, The OSS Project

Partnership Initiative of the Year: The Energy Innovation Centre and partners for their Above and Beyond project

Stakeholder Engagement Initiative of the Year: UK Power Networks for its “Lifting families out of fuel poverty” project

The ‘Gamechanger’ Award – Networks:

  • Winner: Northern Powergrid and its Connections Auto-Design System
  • Highly commended: Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks Transmission for its Biodiversity site optioneering toolkit

The ‘Gamechanger’ Award – Non-Networks: Kaluza and its Intelligent Energy Platform

Network of the Year: UK Power Networks