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WPD claims industry first with launch of new data portal

Image: Getty.

Image: Getty.

Western Power Distribution (WPD) has launched its Beta Connected Data Portal, offering access to a range of data on energy consumption, generation, network loads and more.

This marks the first time a DNO has made its data open to access through a centralised, easy to use platform, WPD said. The new system acts as an online data catalogue, presenting the data in a consistent format to optimise its use, value and benefit.

It can be accessed by a range of users including academics, businesses, both devolved and central governments, local stakeholders and customers. Once accessed, users will be able to investigate and interrogate the data, building interactive graphs and network maps without needing to download anything.

It also incorporates Application Programme Interfaces (APIs), enabling users to automate the gathering and processing of datasets to support their business needs.

WPD has also introduced a registration and subscription function allowing users to follow specific datasets and be kept up to date on new data tranches as they become available.

It is hoped that this data portal will help stakeholders to better understand their local and regional energy system, supporting a new generation of energy technology innovators to develop smart solutions to the UK’s energy challenges.

WPD gave the example of raw data extracted from the portal being used to support community apps, informing energy customers of the best time to charge their electric vehicle when energy consumption and tariffs are low.

The data could also help local authorities to plan efficiently for new low carbon infrastructure in areas with limited network capacity.

Jonathan Berry, data & digitalisation manager at WPD, pointed to how the DNO has "moved quickly" to deliver real life tools since the launch of its Digitalisation Strategy in September 2020, describing the new data portal as a "vital cog in this process".

In October of the same year, the DNO released its Real-Time Power Flow Data Access, which provides customer and stakeholder access to live data on energy production, electricity demand, import and generation across the WPD network in the Midlands, South Wales and South West.

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