The UK National Grid’s electricity transmission and distribution networks have been granted nearly £1m, from a scheme by regulator Ofgem, for eight innovation projects.
Projects include investigating technology to increase power flow capability on existing overhead lines, and exploring using electric vehicles to help restore power supplies to vulnerable customers in the event of an outage.
The proposals were submitted to Ofgem as part of a scheme to encourage innovation and help transform the UK’s energy systems in line with net zero targets.
Eight National Grid-led projects exploring innovation in the electricity transmission and distribution networks have been given the green light to progress to the first ‘discovery’ phase of Ofgem’s Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) programme.
The ambitious innovation projects are intended to provide critical learnings and research to help inform the future development of a net zero energy system at the same time as delivering significant benefits to consumers.
National Grid Electricity Transmission has been awarded £396 000 for three projects that will help develop a net zero electricity network, including investigating technology to increase power flow capability on existing overhead lines, development of a long-term strategy to remove electrical insulating gas sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) from the network, and a project to assess whole energy system resilience.
National Grid Electricity Distribution has been awarded £500 000 for all five of the projects it applied for through the fund, one of which will investigate using electric vehicles to help restore power supplies to vulnerable customers should there be a power cut.
The other four projects will explore the impact of thermal energy efficiency on network loads, the use of digital solutions to support regional network planning, flexibility opportunities across different utilities and the role of digital technologies in developing a local smart energy system.
National Grid’s electricity distribution business will also be collaborating on a further four SIF projects – two with Wales & West Utilities and two with National Grid Electricity System Operator (National Grid ESO).