Lincolnshire Low Carbon Hub
Western Power Distribution
WPD Future Networks Team (01332 827446)
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LCN Fund Tier 2
High Voltage Technology
Traditionally the distribution networks have been designed to operate passively. This means that the network is designed with a tapering capacity on the assumption that electricity generation is large scale and centralised, and power flow will be unidirectional from the higher voltage transmission system to the lower voltages of the distribution network. The capacity of network circuits and components is dictated by the maximum demand, the fault level rating and the need to maintain voltages within defined ranges.
When a generator is connected to the distribution network power flow often becomes bidirectional, fault level is increased and voltage control becomes more complex. Conventional design solutions to the resulting changes in fault level, voltage control and capacity are often substantial in cost. This can mean that in areas which have abundant renewable energy resources the connection of Distributed Generation (DG) is uneconomical.
Lincolnshire is one such area. It has a rich wind resource which may be under utilised for DG, due in part to electricity distribution network connection costs.
The Low Carbon Hub (LCH) provides an opportunity for Western Power Distribution, working with developers, to play its part in opening up its network to facilitate the connection of locally generated power. This will enable Western Power Distribution to test, learn and explore how the network needs to change and how we can do this efficiently at the lowest cost to the consumer. It will also enable us to evaluate the role DG plays in facilitating the active management of our network to deliver a low carbon future, sharing the lessons learnt across the industry and with consumers.
Creating an active smarter design and operation of the network will allow generation to be connected to the distribution network more economically. This will allow the most suitable generation sites to connect to the network.
The LCH solution will develop a distribution network optimised for demand and generation, whilst demonstrating solutions to some of the network limitations