Hot on the heels of last week’s LCNI (Low Carbon Network Innovation) conference, this morning Ofgem has made its announcements of the projects that will be receiving funding from the 2015 competitive round of innovation submissions.  Below you will find a summary of the applications made and as well as their results following a process of written submissions and expert panel assessments by Ofgem.

Distribution Networks only made a total of four submissions this year, which does raise some concerns as this means that the available fund was undersubscribed and could potentially raise questions about the ongoing value achieved from the fund, intended to enable the innovation necessary to accelerate a low carbon future.  Of the four applications made two of these were granted funding.  There was however increased interest from the Transmission companies in 2015 with a total of three submissions, all of which achieved their goal of receiving financial approval.  It should be noted however that some of the funding decisions are also reliant on meeting further conditions that have been set out in Ofgems response


Distribution Submissions Summarised


Celsius – Successfully funded £4.7m
Celsius would help manage the operating temperature of distribution substation assets and deliver new solutions to managing thermal pinch points. This would release additional capacity from existing assets, reduce long-term costs for customers and avoid early asset replacement.

Submitted by Electricity North West Ltd (ENWL) (in partnership with Ricardo AEA, Ash Wireless Electronics, Impact Research, UK Power Networks).

ANGLE-DC – Successfully funded £13.1m (subject to conditions)

ANGLE-DC would demonstrate a novel network reinforcement technique by converting an existing 33kV alternating current (AC) circuit to direct current (DC) operation. This could be used by DNOs as an efficient solution to create additional network capacity and help manage network performance.

Submitted by Scottish Power Manweb (SPMW) (project partners to be confirmed).

 Evolution – Not funded £6.1m
Evolution would have trialled the UK’s first concept of the Distribution System Operator role. It would have demonstrated how operating a “localised balancing market” could reduce customer bills through efficient provision of services and optimised network performance.

Submitted by Scottish Power Distribution (SPD) (in partnership with Smart Grid Consultancy, Global Energy Advisory, CGI).

 Telecoms Template for a Low Carbon Future - Not funded £12.6m
Telecoms Template would have defined communications solutions to support smarter electricity networks. It would have built on knowledge from global experience to test technology performance against smart grid criteria. It also would have delivered a suite of design templates and a software tool to facilitate informed strategy decisions.

Submitted by Western Power Distribution (WPD).


 Transmission Submissions Summarised


 FITNESS - Successfully funded £8.3m

Future Intelligent Transmission Network Substation (FITNESS) would deliver GB’s first live multi-vendor digital substation instrumentation system to protect, monitor and control the transmission network using digital communication over fibre. This would replace copper hard wiring, reduce cost, risk and environmental impact, and increase flexibility, controllability and availability.

Submitted by Scottish Power Transmission (SPt) (in partnership with Alstom Grid, ABB, University of Manchester and Synaptec).


NeSTS - Successfully funded £8.3m (subject to conditions)

The New Suite of Transmission Structures project would create a new breed of overhead line supports that are smaller, better for the environment and could result in financial savings for customers.

Submitted by Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission PLC (SHE Transmission).


OSEAIT - Successfully funded £12m (subject to conditions)

Offgrid Substation Environment for the Acceleration of Innovative Technologies would modify an existing 400kV substation into a field trial facility. The facility would replicate a live substation environment to overcome operational barriers associated with implementing innovative methods and technologies on the network.

Submitted by National Grid Electricity Transmission PLC (NGET).

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