Energy regulator Ofgem (London, England) on Sunday announced that six projects are to share $76 million of funding to help local power networks become smarter. The money comes from Ofgem’s $666 million Low Carbon Networks Fund (LCN Fund).
The projects will run in several areas across Britain, piloting new technology and commercial arrangements, says Ofgem. Local grid companies will learn to develop smart grid networks, which will aim to reduce the need to invest in new network assets such as substations or overhead lines by making use of those which are already there, said the energy regulator.
“Britain’s energy grids need to undergo a revolution in how they are run so they can connect more renewable generators and a range of low carbon technologies such as ground source heat pumps,” says Rachel Fletcher, Ofgem’s senior partner for smarter grids, governance and distribution. “There is a significant opportunity for companies to contain the cost of this transition by making better use of existing capacity and exploring the scope to use demand side response.”
Several projects involve better use of existing network capacity to manage congestion on the grid, or looking at how more low carbon generation can be connected without having to build new power lines.
The six projects include:
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