Jan 2019
Electricity Distribution
Network Islanding Investigation
Jan 2019
Feb 2020
Western Power Distribution, Western Power Distribution East Midlands, Western Power Distribution South Wales, Western Power Distribution South West and Western Power Distribution West Midlands
Jonathan Berry
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Network Innovation Allowance
ED - Network improvements and system operability
Commercial, Control Systems, Distributed Generation and System Security
It is anticipated that proactive islanding may be a valuable tool for DNOs to respond to considerable changes to their networks resulting from increasing numbers of Distributed Generation (DG) and Low Carbon Technologies (LCTs) connecting to them as the economy decarbonises. There is a need for distribution networks to become more flexible to manage and utilise these assets in a manner that promotes low carbon networks and utilises network capacity more efficiently to save money for customers.

 Typically, network islanding is an undesirable operational scenario and DG is configured to disconnect in the event of islanding to avoid abnormal system frequency and voltages. However, we will seek to determine through research whether careful management of loads and generation within network islands may provide a new flexibility solution for network operators.
The objective of this project is to understand the technical, commercial, regulatory and legal options and challenges, and potential benefits of operating parts of the distribution network in islanded mode under different conditions.

 The investigation of islanded operation is necessary to demonstrate that, while commonly considered to be undesirable, it may provide a valuable additional solution for operators to actively manage the network and add to the ‘toolkit’ to provide flexibility when acting in the role of DSO. 

 This project aligns with our Innovation Strategy which identifies research and system modelling of Network Islanding under the research area ‘Network Improvements and System Operability’.
We anticipate that intentionally islanding sections of network has the possibility to provide significant financial, carbon and capacity benefits to the GB distribution network. It has been identified that these benefits could be realised through the application of innovative islanding technologies or indeed novel commercial arrangements that utilise this technology to promote consumer flexibility.

 This research will inform the decision on whether to carry out a more detailed trial and demonstration project that will look to increase the TRL of network islanding technologies and/or to develop new commercial mechanisms for the benefit of the GB customer.