New initiative redefines future of electricity networks

A new initiative that redefines how the UK’s electricity networks will operate in the future has been announced. The Open Networks Project, led by the Energy Networks Association (ENA), comes […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

A new initiative that redefines how the UK’s electricity networks will operate in the future has been announced.

The Open Networks Project, led by the Energy Networks Association (ENA), comes as the nation moves towards a low carbon and smarter grid.

It says the role of local electricity networks – also known as Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) – has changed in recent years as new technologies and services have been deployed across the country.

Under the definition announced yesterday, a DSO securely operates and develops an active distribution system comprising networks, demand, generation and other flexible distributed energy resources.

It enables customers to be both producers and consumers, enabling customer access, choice and greater service.

ENA says the changes will give householders, businesses and communities the ability to take advantage of new technologies and services, including renewable generation, battery storage and electric vehicles.

The project brings together the power network operators, including National Grid, academics, NGOs, the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Ofgem.

Tony Glover, ENA Policy Director said: “Defining the changes to our local electricity networks will not only ensure that UK consumers will continue to get the kind of reliability and performance that the UK’s energy networks are renowned for as we head into a new smart era – but it will also create a platform for exciting new opportunities for them to engage in the energy market, enabling households and businesses to have greater control over their electricity and unlock the potential from new technologies like battery storage and electric vehicles in their everyday lives.”

According to the ENA, smart innovations by energy networks have already resulted in nearly £1 billion of cost savings that will be delivered between now and 2023.