Ofgem has granted £1.3 million in funding to progress three National Grid-led projects.
Split between projects developing electricity transmission and distribution network innovations, the funding will see the projects progress to the next stage of Ofgem’s Strategic Innovation Fund programme, which supports the transformation of the UK’s energy system in line with net zero.
One initiative, the WELLNESS project (Whole Energy System Resilience Vulnerability Assessment), aims to create a standardised approach to large ‘Black Swan’ events within Britain’s electricity system, unpredictable occurrences which can have severe consequences.
Granted £472,000, this project aims to establish foundations to develop the first resilience vulnerability assessment for Britain’s entire electricity system. This can help tackle such Black Swan events.
The project is run by National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET) with projects partners that include the University of Manchester, the University of Cyprus and Imperial College London.
A project run by National Grid Electricity Distribution (NGED) was also awarded £499,874 of Ofgem funding. The PRIDE (Planning Regional Infrastructure in a Digital Environment) project is working with local authorities, on an integrated approach to planning and connecting new low carbon technologies when drawing up Local Area Energy Plans.
“The PRIDE project aims to establish how digital tools can support collaboration between distribution network operators and local authorities to create a more coordinated and integrated process when planning and connecting decarbonised heat and transport solutions,” said Jenny Woodruff, innovation manager at NGED.
“By sharing data, we can work even more closely together to help deliver Local Area Energy Plans, reducing cost and timescales, and ensuring the electricity network is ready ahead of need to ensure a cleaner and fairer energy future for all
There has been a recent push for greater partnership with local authorities to help better inform where new low carbon technologies, such as solar and onshore wind, can be best placed. One example is SSEN Distribution’s LENZA tool, which gives local authorities access to live network capacity data to better inform potential locations for new energy assets.
“These projects are a great example of how National Grid and its partners in industry and academia are tackling some of energy’s biggest challenges with ambitious thinking,” said Sean Coleman, strategic innovation fund manager at NGET.
“Our innovation activity is playing a key role in helping to shape net zero in Britain, and in ensuring our energy networks are fit for the future while keeping costs down for consumers.”