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Northern Powergrid developing innovative solutions to improve reliability of supply in isolated areas

Press Release   •   May 11, 2018 09:54 BST

Northern Powergrid, the electricity distributor, has teamed up with Smarter Grid Solutions and Turbo Power Systems to look at new and innovative solutions to increase the resilience of the region's power network.

The partnership will implement a solution that works at the connection point between two networks, typically high voltage and low voltage, allowing Northern Powergrid to seamlessly disconnect, support via a battery, then reconnect the low voltage network without any loss of supply. Used as an instantaneous response to a fault, the solution will increase the reliability of supply to customers who live in more isolated parts of the region where power cuts can be more frequent.

Smarter Grid Solutions provide a real-time monitoring, control and optimisation system for DER, while Turbo Power Systems specialises in the design and manufacture of integrated power electronics. Both companies are partnering with Northern Powergrid as part of the distributors' innovation programme. 

Euan Davidson, Production Engineering Director at Smarter Grid Solutions said: “We are excited to be involved in this groundbreaking project with Northern Powergrid and Turbo Power Systems. The application of our ANM technology with that of Turbo Power Systems provides Northern Powergrid with the potential to provide increased resilience of supply to their customers. This leverages the extensibility of our products to meet a range of value-creating use cases.”

Iain Miller, Northern Powergrid's Head of Innovation, said: "We’re focused on driving forward innovations that can make a difference for our customers and this is a potential game changer. The equipment being developed with Turbo Power Systems and control systems being developed with Smarter Grid Solutions won’t merely restore electricity to customers after a fault on the grid; they will prevent customers going off in the first place. As we become more and more electricity dependent in our everyday lives that's really exciting.

This project could also provide the groundwork to enable our customers to engage more fully with our network through new capabilities, such as peer-to-peer trading. This project will improve reliability to our customers who may experience more power cuts due to the geographic nature of the community where they live.”

Dr. Nigel Jakeman, Turbo Power Systems Engineering & Business Development Director, commented: “This is a forward-thinking initiative and we’re happy to be working with Northern Powergrid to help deliver improvements that will benefit customers. Power Electronics is a pivotal element in the electricity distribution network of tomorrow and this program demonstrates the key role it can play in securing supply, even in the most vulnerable of locations.”

About SGS

Smarter Grid Solutions is a world-leading technology company formed in 2008 as a spin-out from the University of Strathclyde. Over nine years Smarter Grid Solutions has grown to a worldwide company with offices in Glasgow, London and New York and has enabled the grid connection and active management of over 250 MW of renewable generation.

About ANM Strata

ANM Strata is Smarter Grid Solutions’ world-leading enterprise solution for utilities and renewable generation operators. With its unique real-time control platform it delivers sub-second, precise control of renewable and other energy assets across a wide area from a centralised location.