Thursday, April 22, 2021

Northern Powergrid invests £11.4m to deliver smarter grid

Northern Powergrid is investing £11.4 million to enhance its remote network management to deliver a smarter power grid.

The investment is a critical part of the electricity network’s ongoing work at the forefront of net zero development and green growth across the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire region.

Following a “robust” procurement process, Northern Powergrid has EMR Integrated Solutions a £11.4 million contract to deliver a major project to upgrade its secondary Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system to an IP (Internet Protocol) communications platform across 7,500 distribution substations.

This project is a key part of Northern Powergrid’s wider £83 million smart grid enabler programme which forms the backbone to delivering a more actively managed electricity distribution system to support future energy need as it brings more clean, renewable generation online in the UK.

The investment will enable Northern Powergrid to activate enhanced automation across thousands of substations, centralise control of its remote infrastructure and build a better understanding of customers’ electricity consumption patterns across the grid to provide a responsive service that meets customers’ needs.

“This project will enhance network flexibility and build more digital capability to meet our customers’ needs now and in the future,” said Mark Nicholson, Northern Powergrid’s Head of Smart Grids.

“It will help facilitate our transition to a Distribution System Operator (DSO) that actively manages varying generation and demands across our grid as our customers become more dependent on electricity to power their lights, heating and transport.

“The ability to remotely operate more of our assets and improve network visibility through collection of real-time monitoring data will help us provide better services to our customers.  We can use the IP network to remotely troubleshoot and manage devices across the air, which reduces infrastructure management costs and enables us to be responsive to an active network and the needs of our customers.”

The project rollout is underway and due for completion by March 2023.

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