Feb 2012
Electricity Transmission
Feasibility Study for Sustainable Substation Design
Feb 2012
Mar 2014
National Grid Electricity Transmission
Paul Alchin
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Network Innovation Allowance
National Grid is “...committed to be an innovative leader in energy management and to safeguarding our global environment for future generations”. Supporting this vision, our Corporate Responsibility Report states “...we will only retain our right to operate by working to the highest standards, by trusting our employees to do the right thing and by running our company responsibly and sustainably”.

A goal of the new regulatory regime (RIIO) is to develop a reliable and sustainable energy network that gives current and future consumers value for money. It also aims to promote innovation that will be needed to deliver agreed outputs such as safety, reliability and a reduced environmental impact.

The new substation to be built at Highbury is yet to receive planning permission, Design options are being considered with particular emphasis on visual amenity due to its high visibility in an already congested area. Sustainable options for the new build may help to progress its planning application. Any sustainable design options should therefore be prioritised at this location.

This proposal seeks investment for the consideration of such options on the design of Highbury substation. By employing a University Masters undergraduate to work with a National Grid employee, seconded to LPT for a period of six months, these options (and others) could be fully explored using current technology and business contacts within and external to the company. This work would involve a full and thorough calculation of the whole life cost of any sustainable design option, with particular emphasis on the carbon cost/saving. Working as part of the LPT project team will provide exposure to the design team within the Northern Electricity Alliance to ensure any sustainable design options are practicable and workable within the boundaries of existing procedures and contractual relationships.

To develop a considered, workable and innovative, sustainable design for a substation new-build project in line with Transmission objectives and our corporate vision to lead the development of a more sustainable energy network.

This objective will be achieved by:

  • -  Identifying options for a more sustainable design of substation with particular emphasis on low- carbon technology

  • -  Considering the whole-life cost of such options from a financial and carbon perspective

  • -  Working with designers of a substation new-build project to ensure they are practicable and will

    realise a benefit to the company and the communities we serve. 

This project will achieve its aims if it delivers options for identifying and developing a more sustainable design for a substation. Where there is not a viable option for a sustainable alternative to traditional ways of working, the project will be an important source of information,