New study into future of UK’s electricity distribution networks

Parsons Brinckerhoff, the global engineering consultancy, is leading a consortium to carry out a detailed analysis of Great Britain’s future electricity distribution network.

The consortium’s work, which will be published in late summer 2015, will involve detailed technical modelling of a range of network scenarios to understand how the distribution network will need to adapt to reflect changing demands.
Overhead lines and pylons
The current network - which takes power from the high voltage national transmission grid and distributes it to individual users - was designed in an era before smart technology and the growth in small-scale renewable generation connections and the requirement to meet substantial new loads such as electric vehicle charging.

The study will build on earlier work commissioned by the Smart Grid Forum, which was created by DECC and Ofgem to support the UK’s transition to a secure, safe, low-carbon, affordable energy system.  This latest project – Work Stream 7 – addresses what is needed to ensure the distribution system, including smart technologies and the anticipated low carbon connections, is technically viable and will operate efficiently and resiliently in 2030 and beyond.

The study, on behalf of the UK’s Energy Networks Association (ENA), aims to ensure the network’s design and operation in 2030 will be capable of maximising the benefits of new ‘smart technologies’ and of efficiently facilitating the growing number of low carbon connections, including small scale renewable technology.

The study results will help the country’s Distribution and Transmission Network companies plan their deployment of smart technologies to ensure the most cost-effective and secure outcomes for the future.


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