The Electricity NIC is an annual opportunity for electricity network companies to compete for funding for the development and demonstration of new technologies, operating and commercial arrangements. Funding will be provided for the best innovation projects which help all network operators understand what they need to do to provide environmental benefits, cost reductions and security of supply as Great Britain (GB) moves to a low carbon economy. Up to £81m per annum is available through the Electricity NIC.
ANGLE DC (Scottish Power Manweb Plc)
This project would demonstrate the first direct current (DC) operation of an existing alternating current (AC) distribution network circuit in the UK. The project would deliver a novel reinforcement technique for the 33kV network with the potential to increase thermal capacity and provide instant voltage/power flow control by implementing a Medium Voltage DC link across an existing 33kV circuit.
Celsius (Electricity North West)
New low carbon technology loads will increase currents, which can significantly increase the operating temperatures of network assets. Maximum operating temperature can be the most significant barrier to the swift and efficient connection of new loads. This project would assess and manage the operating temperature of network components, maximising the capacity of distribution assets to facilitate connections of demand and generation while minimising reinforcement costs.
EVOLUTION (Scottish Power Distribution)
This project proposes to create and demonstrate the primary elements of a Distribution System Operator model. It would implement local system balancing through innovative commercial and technical mechanisms under a Grid Supply Point. It would explore wider issues around market coordination plus the effect on national system balancing and settlements.
Future Intelligent Transmission Network SubStation (FITNESS) (Scottish Power Transmission)
FITNESS would demonstrate a sustainable design, deployment and operational control of a transmission substation. This would demonstrate that innovative digital solutions for substations can be applied in a standard approach for future business-as-usual implementation. It would aim to deliver improved network performance, capability and flexibility at lower cost.
New Suite of Transmission Structures (NeSTS) (Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission)
SHE Transmission will use the learning from a current Network Innovation Allowance project to develop new transmission structures that may be smaller, less costly and have reduced foundations sizes, and that may have reduced construction timescales. The project would potentially build and test the proposed structures, create alternative designs for planned projects and install a new structure to validate the learning.
Offline Substation Environment for the Acceleration of Innovative Technologies (OSEAIT) (National Grid Electricity Transmission)
NGET are proposing to develop a substation environment for network licensees to test innovative substation technologies at voltages of up to 400kV. This would reduce the deployment risks and development time of emerging technologies and novel operating practices.
Telecoms Template for a Low Carbon Future (Western Power Distribution)
This project would seek to investigate a structured methodology that enables network planners to select 'fit for purpose' communications to facilitate Smart Grid services. The project would test a comprehensive range of templates based around established and emerging use cases.