The advantages to customer of reducing network voltage, particularly on lowering bills, has been established by several projects and studies carried out within and outside of the electricity distribution sector.
Whilst establishing the benefits, these previous projects have required the roll-out of relatively large amounts of expensive additional equipment on the distribution network at low voltage. This reduces the net benefit to the customer of voltage reduction. The advantages to customer of reducing network voltage, particularly on lowering bills, has been established by several projects and studies carried out within and outside of the electricity distribution sector.
A more financially efficient method would be to reduce target voltage at the 33/11kV level. Previously this has been done as a single adjustment but the impact across the whole of the downstream network is difficult to understand and predict leading to overly conservative, and therefore non-optimum, interventions. Also, the impact is likely to change depending on non-network factors such as weather, time of day, season which further compounds this. A dynamic assessment of downstream voltage and allied dynamic adjustment of target voltage at the 33/11kV transformer would overcome this issue. The Boston Spa Energy Efficiency Trial (BEET) seeks to develop a system that will use half-hourly averaged voltage measurements from smart meters in order to calculate an optimum 11kV target voltage that can be dynamically applied at three primary substations in the trial area. The objective is to be able to apply target voltages that are lower than the current static value of 11.1kV whilst ensuring that customer point of supply voltages do not fall below statutory limits. This will lead to lower energy consumption and reduced electricity bills for customers as well as carbon savings.
Timescales: April 2019 – December 2022