Accompanying SSEN’s five-year grid expansion plans unveiled yesterday, three additional DNOs have published their draft submissions to Ofgem.
Western Power Distribution trumps SSEN’s cash pledge, promising £ 6.2 million to deliver a mammoth 45 core commitments.
Heading its priorities in accommodating 600,000 new heat pumps and 2028’s anticipated 1.5 million EVs. Every working day, 1,600 EVs will be drawing on grid resources, WPD expects.
Flexible connection techniques, sharing data with grid partners and AI modelling, underpin its intention to deliver a smarter network targeting Net Zero
‘Pseudo Power Plants’ – virtual, AI-constructed entities deploying entire housing estates to balance the grid – will be a key tool to delivering flexibility services.
WPD takes pride in having connected 24.8GW of generation during the 2016-21 RIIO-ED1 period onto a grid designed for 14GW.
Smaller in number, SPEN’s aspirations are just as big in proportion. Expecting 670,000 EVs, plus 370,000 heat pumps in homes, and 5GW of new wind, solar & hydro seeking distribution, the Scots seek approval for £3.2 billion of new investment.
That will pay for 1.2GW of additional network capacity, managed by increased digitalisation of operations, towards a goal of saving customers up to £60 million.
SPEN’s Frank Mitchell said: “This is perhaps the most important plan we have ever produced, developed at a time of profound change. The challenge that will touch every part of our society is to halt the effects of climate change. To do this, we need to achieve Net Zero carbon emissions.”
ENW’s ‘Street Smart’ technology will be a beneficiary. Addressing a quarter of a million customers in poverty, the software makes continuous, small adjustments to local network voltage to reduce electricity usage and bills.
The DNOs’ final numbers for price-capped upgrades will go to the regulator by Christmas. Ofgem will respond next spring, and adjudicate finally in December 2022.