Mar 2013
Electricity Transmission
Resilient Electricity Networks for Great Britain (RESNET)
Mar 2013
National Grid Electricity System Operator
National Grid TO Innovation Team
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Innovation Funding Incentive
Gas Transmission Networks
National Grid has previously completed work on the weather related risks to National Grid and how they may increase/ decrease with time. This work is investigating the electrical systems ability to cope with the changes that climate change will have on the electricity transmission system. This work not only aims to incorporate the change in climate but also the change in supply and demand, which is predicted, with changing climate and a growing population.

The proposal also states that it will model the network on a nodal basis to enabling an investigation of the entire system.

This project is a result of an EPRSC research call on Climate change and was awarded to the University of Manchester and the University of Newcastle, it combines the system knowledge of Manchester Electrical Engineering department with the Tyndale centre a leading centre on Climate change with Newcastle Universities expertise in weather systems and structural knowledge.

The RESNET project is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to allow researchers from the University of Manchester and the University of Newcastle to examine the future resilience of the UK electricity network to climate change. The resilience of the UK electricity network is being addressed on three fronts:

  • Representation of changed performance of network components under future climatic conditions (operational resilience): We shall use reported datasets and models to construct performance curves of the system components under a range of climatic conditions (e.g. transmission line capacity for given ambient temperature). To represent the range of performance for each component type, and capture uncertainties in data, these will be presented as probability density functions.
  • Risk of failure modelling of components under extreme weather events (infrastructure resilience): Fragility functions will be developed to describe failure of energy infrastructure from weather related phenomena (e.g. probability of transmission tower collapse as a function of wind speed). Relevant loading variables will be specified for each element and fragility functions subsequently established by (i) literature review and analysis of past events (e.g. failure patterns during the 1987 storm) (ii) interaction with our stakeholder partners and (iii) finite element analysis of selected components.

  • Whole system modelling: We shall develop quantitative estimates of the effect of climate change on the day-to-day performance of the electricity grid, first using the existing National Grid and one or more existing distribution networks before analysing scenarios and adaptations from other work packages. Monte Carlo simulations will be used for each case with the difference in performance of the system between the base case and the modified cases measured using the following criteria: Increase in operating cost required to maintain the standard level of service; Quantified demand response or load shedding needed to maintain service; Probability of customer outages and expected energy not served; Quantity of renewable energy spilled.

To address this dual challenge, the project will see the development of a comprehensive approach to analyse, at the UK scale, the resilience of the electricity network and the development of tools for testing adaptation measures that enhance the resilience of the network. The project will explore adaptations at a broad spatial scale and over extended timescales (2020, 2050 and 2080).