Four electricity networks companies have collaborated on a programme of network improvements that stand to boost renewable connections and save consumers millions of pounds.
Distribution network operators UK Power Networks (UKPN), Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) and Western Power Distribution (WPD) worked alongside transmission system operator National Grid to put into place a series of new measures across grids in the south of England.
Under the terms of the partnership National Grid undertook modelling which showed that a specific form of network protection, used by some distributed energy generators as a safeguard from interruptions on the system, were highly sensitive and caused some to stop exporting power unnecessarily.
Analysis showed that the cost of these unexpected interruptions cost around £40 million for the south coast.
As a result, the four entities worked to improve the ‘Vector Shift’ system in advance of the summer, and a new mode of protection – dubbed High Setting RoCof – was installed on 70 separate sites before the summer’s solar generation peak.
Matt White, lead power system engineer at UKPN, described the collaboration as a “standout example” of network companies working in partnership.
“There was a real imperative to make the short-term move to a more resilient type of protection in time for this summer, and we have come together to achieve it. The result means more renewable energy on the network and tens of millions of pounds saved in costs, which will ultimately save money for our customers.”