Northern Powergrid creates new smart energy project for its customers
Northern Powergrid is planning to invest close to £2 million into the development of a smart energy grid within its network, providing the opportunity for its 8 million customers to trade energy and services using their household solar, battery systems, and electric vehicles. The three-year project was announced in London last week and is planned to be a customer-led distribution network, consisting of an integrated system of homes in the North East, Yorkshire and parts of Lincolnshire.
The policy and markets director of Northern Powergrid says highlighted that making the transition to more cost-effective, low carbon and reliable energy provides massive opportunities for enhancing the economic prosperity of the northern region. Northern Powergrid is aiming to develop a smart grid network based on the requirements of their customers, providing the best service at the most effective costs. Northern Powergrid intends to support emerging energy markets where customers can buy services as cheaply as possible and where they can distribute their services from solar panels, electric vehicles, and home batteries to support demand on the network.
Northern Powergrid believes its customer-led distribution system project is the first to take a holistic view of how to harness the full benefits of a smart energy network and utilize new technology systems. As the project develops, researchers from the University of Bath and Newcastle will research and develop models and demonstrations of distributed energy systems, network operations, tracking the flow of energy, payments, and information.
The research will provide useful information on exploring different approaches within the system, utilizing the data from real-time networks and develop effective strategies to manage the network and market operations.
An additional advisory group will manage this work and ensure it is developed into effective reports to help the industry progress further and integrate with government policy. It is also developing a consultation on plans to manage potential power disruptions that affect customers and amount to nearly £100 million expenses each year. Generally, this loss is due to electricity converted to heat as it flows through the network. They are now exploring how home batteries can be utilized to reduce the challenges to the network caused by solar panels. The project trial is using Moixa batteries in multiple homes and is expected to reduce household energy bills by up to 50% and enable more solar power to be added without having to upgrade the local network.
The DNO believe this project is part of the ‘unprecedented change’ occurring within the energy industry. This is mainly due to an increased amount of renewable energy and new methods of supply and demand, battery storage systems and the rise of domestic technologies. Northern Powergrid believes this project will put them in an ideal position to harness the benefits of this energy transformation for their customers and provide a reliable and cost-effective service.