Britain’s electricity network companies, including Northern Powergrid, have taken a significant step to power the way forward to Net Zero by making it easier for generating customers and flexibility service providers to connect to their networks.
Greater transparency and access to information is set to help them to connect to the networks and help prevent paying for possible costly reinforcement.
Northern Powergrid has worked with fellow electricity network companies, through the Open Networks Project, to launch System Wide Resource Registers, which will give the entire industry more information about connected generation over 1MW.
The new registers present a standardised set of data across all the electricity network companies to customers, highlighting demand and presenting more opportunities for all stakeholders – including community groups, renewables projects, and large aggregators – to innovate with their investments, provide clean energy, and avoid building costly reinforcement.
Spearheaded through the Open Networks Project, the registers published by all Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) detail generation projects, storage facilities, and larger demands that are providing flexibility services of 1MW and greater to their networks. This includes wind and solar power, vital to help Britain reach Net Zero.
Containing data for over 5,000 connected assets, the information will also give a more complete network view to National Grid ESO of network generation capacity to help ensure a secure supply of the low carbon energy customers rely on every day.
Information on resource types, locations, and capacities for those resources that are already connected to distribution networks or that have accepted connection agreements in place are all detailed. Information is also included on flexibility services that are being provided to the distribution network companies.
These new registers are produced in a standard format across the country, helping to harmonize local markets and give customers the best experience no matter the location. The data provided will make it easier for customers to explore new opportunities and enter new markets to maximise the benefit of low-carbon technologies.
The resource registers will be updated on a monthly basis by each of the network companies, with the scope of the registers being further enhanced later this year with information about the network reinforcements required to connect new resources. The registers have also been developed alongside a network code modification which seeks to improve data transparency further giving customers even better information on network opportunities.
Paris Hadjiodysseos, Smart Grid Development Engineer and Open Network representative responsible for delivering Northern Powergrid’s System Wide Resource Register, said: “By working in partnership with our fellow network operators we are really harnessing the power of data as we work towards delivering low carbon, smart grids for our customers.
“Bringing our data together with other network operators in a transparent and harmonised way is an important step forward. The publication of the System Wide Resource Registers will make connecting to networks easier and help highlight new opportunities for clean energy projects that will deliver value for our customers. It supports our wider vision for our future network, set out in our DSO plan published last year, which details how the power grid can underpin decarbonisation and help enable the move to Net Zero.”
- The Open Networks Project brings together electricity transmission and distribution network companies with industry stakeholders, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the energy regulator Ofgem, to lay the foundations for the smart grid in Great Britain and inform future developments in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
- Distributed Energy Resources (DER) are smaller scale generation, demand, or storage resources connected to the distribution network. Examples include:
- Solar PV
- Offshore and onshore wind power generation
- Battery storage
- The System Wide Resource Registers are being developed alongside code modification DCUSA DCP 350, to require the DNOs to create a national, public register of all sites that use their networks and influence the operation of the GB power market. The Register would contain details of each connected site and would be kept up to date by the DNOs.
- Examples of flexibility services include:
- Households charging their electric vehicles at off-peak times or when it is sunniest, whilst other households’ domestic solar panels are generating electricity.
- Businesses striking demand-side response agreements to adjust their electricity use at the times of day when they least need it, helping reduce the need and cost of building new infrastructure.
- Using battery storage to help network operators proactively manage a rapidly changing electricity grid where electricity now flows in many different directions, rather than in just one as it has done in the past.