Mar 2015
Electricity Distribution
Protection and Control Roadmap
Mar 2015
National Grid Electricity System Operator
National Grid TO Innovation Team
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Innovation Funding Incentive
Clearly National Grid is entering a new phase of uncertainty in the optimum requirements for providing a “fit for purpose” protection and control solution to meet the needs of the changing transmission network. This is being driven by a need to adapt more quickly to change, to accommodate and manage the connection of intermittent wind generation at the extremities of the network, series compensation, embedded HVDC connections, offshore AC and HVDC connections and larger nuclear generation sets, together with the closure of many traditional coal fired power stations. This is leading to a situation where much larger, critical hub substations will be built requiring higher integrity P&C systems and with a further need to modify easily and extend them over significant periods of time. This will require protection and control solutions which are not only adaptable and flexible to meet the fast changing needs of the network, but need to address the consequential impacts on existing systems in older substations which may need to be progressively upgraded.

There are also threats to the P&C settings and configurations process, which has traditionally resulted in well tested and fixed parameters for a fixed network, but will have to adapt in near real time to changing network configurations, load flows and fault in-feed capability.

This R&D Project is to provide a set of detailed reports on the technical challenges faced by National Grid in the general areas of Protection & Control (P&C), which will clearly identify the technical and process risks faced and the options on how these may be mitigated. It will identify, review and prioritise the Protection & Control technical and asset management challenges likely to be faced by National Grid in the time frames of 2020, 2030, with a view beyond. This will help provide a common focus for existing strategies based on technical expertise and feasibility and R&D projects with timelines for implementation and also establish a further set of prioritised R&D required to manage these identified risks, leading to a clear vision and consolidated plan for implementation of future.