Sep 2015
Electricity Transmission
Transmission Network Topology Optimisation
Sep 2015
Apr 2016
National Grid Electricity System Operator and National Grid Electricity Transmission
Anna Blackwell
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Network Innovation Allowance
High Voltage Technology and Electricity Transmission Networks
The scope of this project is intended to investigate the feasibility of using existing developed algorithms to establishing network topology changes for the GB NETS and determining if the proposed solutions are practical and valuable in optimally planning the system.

This will consist of the following steps:

  1. NGET Identification of historic test cases where thermal constraints have been active

  2. Analysis of the historic test cases to identify potential topology changes that could reduce constraint costs

  3. NGET analysis of each of the topology changes to confirm operating criteria is maintained and asses the change in constraint costs of adopting the topology change

The proposed solutions will be used as a starting point to optimise the network to reduce the requirement for balancing actions.

The objective of phase 1 of the project is to investigate if it is feasible to use the existing algorithms developed for use with the PJM transmission system to propose topology changes that can be used by engineers within operational planning to optimise the GB NETS and provide recommended actions to the Control Room.

The continuation of the study into phase 2 will depend on the outcome of phase 1 and, as a relatively short project, the outcome may lead to further detailed developments.

The ability to utilise the existing algorithms to identify changes to network topology that can be utilised to reduce constraint costs by avoiding potential electricity market actions. Topology changes should be credible and in line with existing operating criteria.

Phase 1 will be consider a success if the existing algorithms can be used with the existing NGET transmission models to identify credible alternative network topology that can be used as a starting point to study the transmission network and reduce the requirement for balancing actions and reducing constraint costs, based on fixed generation.

Phase 2 will be considered a success if the algorithms provide both credible topology and the market impact of revised generation despatch.

Similar assessments across the PJM transmission region in the USA have identified improvements of 5 – 10% in the thermal capacity across critical network boundaries. If similar improvements were identified on GB NETS thermal constraint boundaries it is anticipated that constraint costs savings could be of the order of £1 - £5m.