Sep 2017
Electricity Distribution
Sep 2017
Sep 2020
Northern Powergrid
NPG Innovation Team
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Network Innovation Allowance

Significant advances have been made in restoration of supplies by smart methods over recent years, in particular very short term restoration which is considered to be an increase in resilience.  Conversely smart techniques have contributed less to increases in true resilience; situations when customers never experience an outage of any length in the first place.

In the near future however improvements and cost reductions in battery technology, the prevalence of distributed generation particularly at lower voltages, and improvements in measurement and communications will offer smart opportunities to improve resilience. This would seem to be a potential low-cost route to improved true resilience but which mix of technology options, operational approaches would suit particular circumstances and locations is not known and the residual risk and actual deliverable benefit  is not understood.

The project will assess the technical viability and comparative economics (including non-financial benefits) of smart technology enabled resilience under the following circumstances:

  • Critical customers on vulnerable connection
  • Remote customers on vulnerable connection
  • Opportune micro-grid application (using already present DG)
  • Simple storage option

The project intends to provide guidance for the appropriateness of the various solutions tested and their technical benefits and disadvantages.

The level of resilience improvement will be assessed alongside the level desired by the customers. Critical customers on a vulnerable connection may have different requirements to a microgrid implementation with a significant degree of embedded generation.