Smart move: Western Power Distribution presses go on shift to DSO


Western Power Distribution has outlined its intention to become a fully smart grid. The distribution network operator (DNO) seeks views on its plan to become a distribution system operator (DSO).

The six DNOs in mainland Britain manage distribution of electricity within their regions. They have traditionally been highly reliable, defensively-engineered businesses with little customer interaction.

The shift to a DSO model is a major transformation, entailing management of generation, consumption and flexibility at a local level, while feeding into grid balancing at a national level.

Some DNOs are more advanced in their plans to commence that shift. Western Power Distribution has already outlined plans to start a local aggregation-type business in the East Midlands, whereby it will sell flexibility both into National Grid’s schemes as well as balance its own network.

But the launch of its DSO consultation spells out its wider intentions and asks for feedback on a number of areas, such as how far its control of customer loads will spread, and crucially, which models of local versus national control and dispatch will bring about whole system benefits at lowest cost.

The network operator will expand upon its DSO strategy at a stakeholder event on 14 September in Birmingham.

See the consultation here.

WPD will outline its plans and the opportunities these present for I&C firms at The Energyst’s DSR Event in London on 7 September. Click here for details.

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