Northern Powergrid starts next stage of smart grid upgrades

A £15 million investment will make the network ready to adopt more low carbon technologies such as electric vehicles

Northern Powergrid has started the next stage of work to modernise and future-proof more than 860 of its substation controllers.

The electrical distribution company is upgrading infrastructure across the north of England as part of preparations to enable the widespread implementation of smart grid solutions and applications through the network.

This includes upgrading equipment to prepare for the rapid growth of electric vehicles, domestic heat pumps and renewable technologies.

This next phase of the project will see around £15 million of investment in developing and building the next generation of substation controllers – it will begin in August 2018 and is scheduled to be completed in 2023.

Northern Powergrid estimates the new smart energy system could save up to £500 million by 2031.

Mark Nicholson, the company’s Head of Smart Grid Implementation, said: “This is a significant and technically challenging operation drawing on many of our highly specialist technical functions across the business.

“The advantage at the end of this work will be infrastructure that will enable us to operate our network in a more flexible way to deliver more value for our customers through smarter, more efficient and cost-effective services.”

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