As part of the RIIO price controls we introduced the Electricity Network Innovation Competition (NIC).
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, reduce costs, and maintain security as Great Britain (GB) moves to a low carbon economy. Up to £70m per annum is available through the Electricity NIC.
The 2018 Competition
On 3rd August, we received four submissions to the Full Submission stage of the 2018 Electricity NIC, which will now be considered for funding:
Optimise Prime (UK Power Networks)
If funded, this project aims to understand and minimise the network impacts of electrifying commercial fleets and private hire vehicles, optimise the utilisation of existing network and charging infrastructure, and make the EV transition of commercial vehicles more seamless. By developing and testing a range of innovative technical and commercial solutions, the project will provide data to support a comprehensive understanding of the technical feasibility, customer response, network impact and cost effectiveness of smart technology to this sector and prove customer and network savings over traditional methods.
Charge (Scottish Power Energy Networks)
If funded, this project will engage with relevant stakeholders across network, transport, and planning to develop and trial Electric Vehicle (EV) charging solutions. The project will investigate the ability of smart control, storage, and Active Network Management (ANM) systems to provide lower connection and operational costs to customers. The project aims to develop a DNO led strategy to facilitate and accelerate the electrification of transport, and more specifically, the connection of charging infrastructure.
Revise (Western Power)
If funded, this project will develop a new standardised approach for the connection of distributed generation (DG) and low carbon technologies (LCTs).The project will investigate three technical methods (Advanced Connection Solution, Dynamic Protection Systems, and Intelligent Network Reconfiguration) to release network capacity, improve DG and LCT connectivity, and enable intelligent control of the 33kV network system. The project aims to support the development of distribution system operation.
Black Start from Distributed Energy Resources (National Grid Electricity Transmission)
If funded, this project will trial how different types of distributed energy resources (DERs) can provide Black Start services and local restoration. The proposed project will build on existing research in GB and internationally, and investigate if DERs are a viable solution to provide Black Start services, and how to coordinate stakeholders to best manage restoration efforts. The project aims to provide a commercial and regulatory framework for how Black Start services from DERs can be purchased and regulated.
The following projects were submitted to the Initial Screening Process but were not eligible to proceed to the Full Submission stage and be considered for funding:
Connection (Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks)
If funded, this project will develop a smart, analytical engine to improve network connection processes and customer experiences using new data sets such as smart metering data, secondary substation monitoring and LiDAR. The project aims to create a ‘one-stop-shop’ that will help increase visibility of flexible options for customers and will also help signpost competitive connections options.
Project Vision (Scottish Power Energy Networks)
If funded, this project will develop a common streamlined and efficient mechanism (life cycle assessment (LCA) tool) for the energy industry to help companies understand the environmental impact of their value chains and inform mitigation actions. The project will investigate and facilitate the understanding of where the significant environments environmental impacts are within the value chain and identify the opportunities for energy, process, and material efficiencies. The project aims to implement a cross-industry programme to reduce value chain inefficiencies and reduce environmental impact across GB.