Feb 2012
Electricity Distribution
Hook Norton Low Carbon Community Smart Grid
Feb 2012
Oct 2013
Western Power Distribution
WPD Future Networks Team (01332 827446)
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LCN Fund Tier 1
LV & 11kV Networks
Hook Norton is a dynamic rural community in Oxfordshire with around 2,500 residents and 800 properties. Last year, the village was awarded £400k from DECC’s Low Carbon Communities programme to help its residents ‘decarbonise’. Thanks to the Hook Norton Low Carbon group and the limited company which they have set up, the money has been spent on a variety of different projects which, over time, will return money back into the community. Initiatives undertaken to date include home retrofits (£5 to £40k interest free loans), a school makeover (including a 17.5kW PV installation) and a small automatic metering deployment.

Plans are now underway to obtain planning consent and funding for a community wind turbine (330kW) to the North East of the village. Hook Norton, like many rural villages represents a unique challenge when it comes to carbon reduction because success can only be achieved via a high level of engagement with the local community. Given the fantastic work that has already gone on in Hook Norton, Central Networks aims to develop a range of tools and techniques that can be used to support the low carbon transition within rural communities.

This project aims:

  • To develop and explore customer engagement and incentive programmes. This aspect will include a small scale domestic demand response trial

  • To develop community data measurement and display capabilities (e.g. to ascertain the total electricity consumption of the village by installing measurement devices at various locations. Subsequently, to provide this and other relevant information back to the local community via a web portal/customer interface (which if successful, could then be used for other villages)

  • To deploy Power Line Communications (PLC) technology at scale within the Low Voltage (LV) network, illustrating its potential capabilities for enabling smart grid end point measurement and data aggregation

  • To test and compare a variety of ‘off the shelf’ asset monitoring solutions for HV/LV pole-mounted and ground-mounted substations. The quality of the products will be assessed, alongside the installation methods

  • To test and demonstrate a miniature smart grid telecommunications network (with multiple technologies) that will enable both local and remote network visibility
  • To explore the changes that could be made to a network control system for enabling simple forms of LV network monitoring and management.