Mar 2013
Electricity Transmission
SuperGen – HiDEF (Highly Distributed Energy Future)
Mar 2013
National Grid Electricity System Operator
National Grid TO Innovation Team
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Innovation Funding Incentive
Gas Transmission Networks
The Highly Distributed Power Systems Consortium has developed plans for renewal that will demonstrate a radical vision of a highly distributed energy future that enables all end users to participate in system operation and real time energy markets and thereby more fully exploits the potential of distributed generation and active load resources to deliver a more sustainable and resilient provision of energy for the future. This Highly Distributed Energy Future (HiDEF) programme researches the essential elements of a decentralised system that could be implemented over the period 2025 & 2050, but at the same time has been structured to support the evidence base relating to key questions of current concern within the stakeholder community and in this way its relevance extends beyond the limits of its decentralised system vision.

In concept, the research vision is one of decentralised resources, control and market participation extending to include end users at system extremities. This challenges the current fit-and-forget strategies for the incorporation of such small elements within the power system that fails to capture the potential added value of this distributed technology. Furthermore, this approach opens up new opportunities that are not feasible in the conventional centralised structure, such as local heat and cooling grids, or district biogas schemes.

In recognising this, the consortium’s scope has broadened from electrical power systems to future energy systems. This builds naturally on the extensive device based modelling work and conceptual work conducted under HDPS 1. In particular, the cell concept developed by HDPS 1 becomes the mechanism for localised management of not only electrical energy but also gas/heat/cooling and to extent energy for transportation.

The HiDEF project strongly complements the research, development and demonstration activities of Technology Strategy Board (TSB), the Carbon Trust, ETI, industry and EPSRC. A cross-cutting systems perspective is taken by the HiDEF team, building from detailed bottom-up modelling and systems level requirements. In this way the consortium is particularly qualified to contribute to an understanding of distributed resources and loads, their optimal coordination, and mechanisms for comprehensive integration.

The Consortium will develop the analytical, sustainability and economic evaluation tools, interface technologies and coordination strategies that are required to demonstrate the credibility, test the feasibility and engineer the integrative solutions of a future power system that delivers sustainability and security through the widespread deployment of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) and thus contributes to national and international ambition for a low carbon future.