Nov 2015
Electricity Distribution
ATLAS - Architecture of tools for load scenarios
Nov 2015
Dec 2017
Electricity North West Limited
Electricity North West Innovation Team
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Network Innovation Allowance
Control Systems
The scope of the future analysis needs to expand from the existing focus on peak loading in MVA, based on winter peak MW loading.

The expanded analysis will cover winter and summer conditions, both peak loading and minimum or reverse power flow, including the effects of generation. The outputs will include indicative comparisons to thermal capacity. Future loading will be expressed with uncertainty eg scenarios and volatility measures.

This will be delivered in a consistent way across all distribution network assets - GSP, BSP, Primary and secondary networks - although the implementation will differ. In particular the Grid and Primary analysis will be per substation, corrected for weather and generation effects, and cover the range of active power flows, reactive power flows, apparent power, power factor and load factor over a year (P, Q, MVA, pf, LF). For the secondary networks, given the lack of historic data on loading and uncertainty in local geographical spread of new technology, there will be a simpler analysis, and future scenarios will be interpreted on a volume basis ie suggesting a number of assets exceeding capacity in future.

The project will deliver the methodology, prototypes and specifications for an enduring automated business solution to analysing current load, generating future scenarios and providing indicative capacity assessments.

The project will build on the analysis and tools developed in elements of the following other Electricity North West innovation projects

- Low Voltage Network Solutions (2011-2014) eg Future Capacity Headroom model of the secondary networks

- Demand Forecasts and Real Options (IFI) - 2013-2015

- Demand Scenarios with Electric Heat and Commercial Capacity Options (NIA) - 2015-2016 - developing peak demand scenarios at Grid and Primary

- Reactive Power Exchange Application Capability Transfer - REACT (2013-2015) with National Grid and all DNOs

The ATLAS project will develop the Method to deliver historic estimates and future annual scenarios of asset loading to 2031, and make indicative comparisons of these to thermal capacity. This will provide inputs to network / business planning, information for stakeholders and help fulfil mandatory reporting requirements

This project supports four primary objectives.

  1. to support efficent decisions about load-related investment in the RIIO-ED1 regulatory period (2015-2023)
  2. to justify the plan for efficent load-related investment in the RIIO-ED2 regulatory period (2023-2031)
  3. to more efficiently and accurately meet our 'Week 24' reporting obligations to National Grid, and support compliance with future restrictions on the operational envelope of GSPs.
  4. to provide better information to stakeholders and customers, enhancing customer service.

By better understanding current and future loading, this will support the business to only provide necessary network capacity and investments, thus minimising the economic and environmental impact of the networks.

  1. Automate correction and analysis of peak and minimum load behaviour across all Grid and Primary substations

  2. Deliver a prototype tool for annual P and Q load estimates and indicative capacity assessments across all Grid and Primary substations, including to automate delivery of a wider scope of estimates and scenarios of GSP Connection Group loadings to National Grid in the 'Week 24' submission, and for future regulatory reporting required by Ofgem.

  3. Amend internal policies accordingly, and specify the business-as-usual approach for Grid and Primary substations

  4. Deliver partial prototypes of load estimates and indicative capacity assessments across the secondary network, and specify the future business-as-usual system to be based on the improved load estimates expected to be available from 2018 onwards.