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50MW of renewable capacity connected thanks to SPEN Active Network Management system

SP Energy Networks is looking at ways to increase capacity alongside traditional expansion. Image: SPEN.

SP Energy Networks is looking at ways to increase capacity alongside traditional expansion. Image: SPEN.

Through its Active Network Management (ANM) project, SP Energy Networks has been able to connect 50MW of renewable generation to the constrained area of Dunbar, Scotland.

Launched initially in 2012, the trial was funded as part of the Low Carbon Innovation Fund and ran for four years. A new report produced by Regen demonstrates the benefits of using ANM during this period.

Four new projects were able to connect to the network thanks to the trial, adding the 50MW of generation. Additionally, an existing 48MW windfarm was able to upgrade from its previous constrained connection to a flexible ANM connection.

“Active Network Management has proved to be an incredibly useful technology to use ahead of our planned multi-billion pound investment in our network to keep increasing the renewable generation Scotland needs,” said Scott Mathieson, Network Planning and Regulation director at SP Energy Networks

“Not only that, but we are proud to be able to show that it can bring significant socio-economic benefits to both the country and directly to the communities it operates in.”

Additional benefits of the trial include the creation of 56 full-time equivalent jobs, £75,000 in community benefit over the lifetime of the projects and £61 million to the Scottish economy.

The trial utilised Smarter Grid Solutions ANM technology, to enable greater grid connections ahead of network investment.

"Network flexibility in general, but this ANM approach to flexible generator connections in particular, provides the foundation for quicker and less expensive development of clean energy,” said Euan Davidson, chief technology officer of Smarter Grid Solutions ANM.

“Speed, scale, stakeholder inclusivity and cost-effectiveness are all clearly important in the context of the enormous climate challenge we all now face.”

Smarter Grid Solutions has been involved in a number of ANM projects with network operators around the UK in recent years, including working as part of a collective with UK Power Networks.

SP Energy Networks is looking at a number of ways to manage capacity issues, including demand forecasting, local area energy plans, export management systems, flexibility tendering and demand side response, along with ANM.

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