Software designed by a Glasgow-based clean energy tech firm will play a crucial role in the development of a groundbreaking advanced electricity network control system.
The Active Network Management (ANM) Strata platform, developed by Smarter Grid Solutions (SGS), will be used in the UK Power Networks’ new £15 million control system.
UK Power Networks is the UK’s largest electricity distributor – supplying energy to more than eight million homes and businesses in London and the East and South East of England.
SGS’ platform will enable more than 500MW of distributed energy resources (DER) to be connected to the grid in a more efficient and cost-effective manner. This can generate enough power for 250,000 homes in the region. The ANM system processes vast amounts of data to safely and more efficiently run the network, which is now supplied by more than 165,000 electricity producers.
The system will also cut the time it takes to connect energy resources to the grid – reducing the need to build or upgrade infrastructure, which in turn will save money.
Sotiris Georgiopoulos, Head of Smart Grid Development at UK Power Networks, commented: “We are creating a platform for the network of the future and we’re taking it further and faster than anyone in the world has done before. Having ANM integrated into our entire network control system is going to open the door to an almost limitless range of smart grid applications.
“It’s going to function a bit like your smartphone and apps. Once we have the core platform ready, we’ll be able to add a vast number of smart applications to it without having to build and maintain individual platforms for individual projects.”
Georgiopoulos added: “The fact it acts as a platform, as opposed to a solution to a specific problem, means it will be able to take advantage of emerging technologies around big data, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI).”
The partnership with SGS will enable UK Power Networks to deliver on a promise made last year to offer all customers flexible connections by 2020.
Bob Currie, Chief Technology Officer at SGS, said: “This is a watershed moment, not just for UK Power Networks, but for the wider electricity industry. Building this system based on our ANM Strata platform will allow UK Power Networks to make the transition from being a passive distribution network operator to a very active distribution system operator; trailblazing a path down which their British peers will follow.
“ANM Strata has been proven in commercial deployments at major international utilities across the world and will now allow UK Power Networks to optimise, control and manage DER.”