Northern Powergrid secures £1.1m from Ofgem fund to advance innovation projects

Northern Powergrid has secured £1.1m in funding to advance a number of innovation projects in the region.

The company, which is responsible for the electricity network that powers eight million customers in the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, has secured the funds from Ofgem’s Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF). The network operator is working on three projects – Inform, Artificial Forecasting and Diversified Flexible Queue (DFQ) – which it will now progress into the second stage of development.

The projects, which are being funded by energy network users and consumers through the Strategic Innovation Fund, are part of a programme from the UK’s independent energy regulator Ofgem in partnership with Innovate UK. Following a successful feasibility study, the latest phase provides funding to develop concepts in depth, before potentially progressing to the third and final phase, which will see them potentially put into action.

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  • For Northern Powergrid, the funding will specifically help develop a connections tool to be hosted on its website, for use by developers of complex sites. It builds on the feasibility phase which revealed the tool would enable faster connections of low carbon technologies, particularly on heat pumps. The second project involves a Diversified Flexible Queue Management (DFQM) system, which could mix and match customers’ connections, to get more capacity for low carbon technologies.

    The third project will enable the network operator to speed up and shorten forecasting horizons to make better use of lower carbon flexibility assets.

    Paul Glendinning, Northern Powergrid’s director of Energy Systems, said: “We’re pleased to have been successful in securing funding for the second round of SIF Alpha projects, alongside our innovation delivery partners. This funding advances three ambitious innovation projects which will deliver significant benefits for site developers, connections customers and flexibility providers by giving them self-service tools for assessing connections, additional capacity to connect and better forecasts of flexibility needs.

    “Northern Powergrid is committed to driving innovation and developing systems and tools to support and accelerate decarbonisation across our network and these projects support our customers’ journeys to net zero.”

    Matt Hastings, deputy director for the Ofgem Strategic Innovation Fund at Innovate UK said: “The climate clock is ticking and the cost of living crisis is pushing people to their limits. SIF is on an urgent mission to support people, planet and business and these projects are a sign of hope in challenging times. Within this round 2 alpha portfolio we have some trail blazing innovators whose ideas have significant potential to save consumers money and reduce CO2 emissions, whilst also helping to turn the UK into the Silicon Valley of energy.”

    Marzia Zafar, deputy director of digitalisation and innovation at Ofgem, said: “Innovative solutions that deliver resilience, reliability and affordability at pace are essential in achieving Great Britain’s target of clean power by 2035. This latest funding round will help innovators develop their ideas further and deliver the transformative technologies needed to drive forward the energy transition at least cost to consumers.”

    Original artice – https://business-live.co.uk/all-about/yorkshire-humber

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