Phil Dingle, marketing director at Lucy Electric, discusses using data to deliver benefits for network operators.
Driven by the decarbonisation agenda and the associated decentralisation and digitisation of the network, the UK electricity industry is undergoing major transformation. Components of this transformation to a greener and decentralised energy system, such as greater use of renewables, electric vehicles and storage, place increased pressure on the grid, especially the medium and low voltage network.
Evaluating and understanding this will be essential to a truly smart grid and consequently we are now seeing the greatest innovation and change happening at medium and low voltage levels. As distribution network operators (DNOs) transition into distribution system operators (DSOs); monitoring and control systems need to become more advanced, to deliver actionable intelligence faster and serve multiple purposes.
This will be further influenced by the European Union's Clean Energy Package, which places requirements on Ofgem to monitor the smartness of DSOs. How this will be embedded in the UK and implemented by the regulator is a key topic of discussion at the moment. DNOs are already thinking about this, but how will these outcomes align with future requirements?
Lucy Electric's Gridkey monitoring system is demonstrating how data and its analysis can deliver real benefits for distribution networks. Whether by reducing losses, better fault identification and management, improving power quality or enhancing asset planning - having a smarter network will benefit the industry, consumers and the environment.
With the Clean Energy Package indicating these factors are how Ofgem should measure DSO smartness, monitoring that adds real value to how the UK networks can stay ahead on smart grid developments.