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WPD launches flexibility study FLOWERS with South West Water

WPD is running a number of flexibility projects as it looks to increase resilience in the grid ahead of RIIO-ED2. Image: WPD.

WPD is running a number of flexibility projects as it looks to increase resilience in the grid ahead of RIIO-ED2. Image: WPD.

Western Power Distribution (WPD) has teamed up with Smart Grid Consultancy and South West Water (SWW) to launch a new demand side response flexibility study.

The FLOWERS (Flexible Operation of Water Networks Enabling Response Services) feasibility study will look at modifying both the triggers and the timing of operations like waste water and drinking water pumping processes, in response to signals from WPD.

For example, SWW could re-schedule these processes for times when there is lower demand on the system to ease constraints at peak times.

The project will attempt to create a new type of flexible capacity embedded in the operational process of a water company, said WPD.

“What is particularly exciting about this project is that it is the first of its kind in terms of us working with a water utility and a first step towards the collaborative delivery of innovation projects going forwards,” Nick Devine, WPD innovation engineer, said.

“We intend this project to be the first in a series where water and electricity distribution networks come together to deliver decarbonisation and net zero for customers by identifying new energy efficiencies. It will get the ball rolling for ED2 (2023 – 28) when we plan to work even more closely with other industries to meet the whole system challenges ahead.”

WPD is working to increase flexibility on its network through a number of projects such as Intraflex and Equinox, as well as tendering for flexibility services across a number of constrained areas.

SWW is targeting net zero by 2030, and has already made a number of steps to reduce its emissions including beginning to switch to electrify its fleet vehicles. It began rolling out solar power installations back in 2011, and currently operates over 60 renewable energy installations.

“We have ambitious plans to transform the way we operate as a business to not only reduce, but to reverse our carbon emissions,” said Angus Berry, head of energy at SWW.

“This pioneering partnership is great example of how through collaborative working, we can identify innovative solutions for reducing our energy consumption and reaching net zero.”

Work on FLOWERS began in February, with a final report and recommendation document expected in November 2022. The project is being part funded by the Network Innovation Allowance.

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