SP Energy Networks has successfully completed the first phase of its £4.4 million trial to demonstrate how the electricity network can be restored at a faster pace using renewables.
The project, dubbed Synergy, has been trialled in Dumfries & Galloway and saw SP Energy Networks partner with GE and Drax. This trial saw a small group of renewable sources, such as hydro and wind, used to kickstart the network locally.
SP Energy Networks connected a hydro generator at Drax’s Kendoon Power Station to power wind turbines across two small windfarms at Glenchamber and North Rhins to re-energise the network in a trial test.
With the completion of this trial, the project demonstrated that when harnessing the right technology, the network can be 60% self-starting within 24 hours by 2026. This is a requirement set out by the Electricity System Restoration Standard.
SP Energy Networks will undertake further live network trials in Central Scotland and Fife later this year which will represent a crucial step in the leading network provider’s mission to ensure and maintain network stability as demand for electricity increases.
“This successful electricity system restoration marks a significant milestone not just for SP Energy Networks, but for the UK’s entire electricity network. It is a massive leap forward in innovation and the use of novel wide area monitoring, protection and control technology,” said Scott Mathieson, network planning and regulation director at SP Energy Networks.
“Providing grid stability and services from renewables is one of the greatest challenges facing network operators today. Our trial shows it can be done and highlights just what our network is capable of as low carbon technology becomes an increasing part of our everyday lives. This is hugely impressive and shows we are very much on the right path as we continue to invest and innovate to ensure our network is an enabler for net zero.”