Great Britain’s target of slashing its carbon dioxide emissions to net zero by 2050 is taking a major step forward thanks to software designed by Smarter Grid Solutions (SGS).
The Glasgow-based company has won a contract with SP Energy Networks to provide a software solution that will help them to control and manage devices connected to their electricity networks.
Initially, the software will be used to connect renewable energy devices such as wind turbines and solar panels to the grid and control how much electricity flows across the network.
The investment opens the door for SP Energy Networks to offer a wider range of customer-centric solutions for electric vehicle (EV) charging points, utility scale and domestic batteries, heat pumps and other distributed energy assets that will replace fossil fuelled-energy with clean electrical equivalents.
SGS’s system will become operational in Scotland before the end of this year, initially being implemented in Dumfries and Galloway, before being rolled out to SP Energy Networks’ other control centres serving their customers in England and Wales.
The contract is the first major win for the third version of SGS’s active network management (ANM) Strata system, which was unveiled earlier this year.
It builds on the success of the Accelerating Renewable Connections (ARC) advanced control system in East Lothian, where SP Energy Networks already manages around 150MW of renewable energy capacity using SGS’s software.
The ANM system will allow SP Energy Networks to deploy flexible grid connections, which means the amount of renewable electricity being fed into the grid can be increased or decreased to balance supply and demand and manage flows through the grid.
SGS’s ANM Strata system will allow hundreds of megawatts of renewable energy to be connected to Great Britain’s national grid, much of it in the areas with the most abundant wind and solar resources.
SP Energy Networks was one of SGS’s earliest customers after it was founded in 2008 and the two companies are also working together on an innovative trial of EV smart charging technology and on a solution to manage network faults.
Alan Gooding, executive director at SGS, said: “This is a massive win for SGS, not simply through cementing our relationship with one of the biggest names in the industry but also through its importance in accelerating the broader zero-carbon transition.
“ANM Strata is a particularly good fit for this project due to its proven control approach for networks with extremely high penetrations of renewable energy devices and its readiness to roll-out other solutions for energy storage, EV charging points and electric heat technologies currently being matured through trial projects.
“ANM Strata will become the backbone for managing SP Energy Networks’ grids across England, Scotland and Wales thanks to its flexibility and the ways it can be adapted to meet our customers’ needs.”
Scott Mathieson, Director of Network Planning and Regulation at SP Energy Networks, said: “At SP Energy Networks we are working every day to identify smarter, more agile ways to manage our network. Through innovative projects like this, we can deliver a reliable and robust, sustainable electricity supply to our customers and communities both now and in the future.
“We’re currently putting the new system in place across Dumfries and Galloway. It has the potential to double the region’s export capacity and enable large amounts of new green energy to be generated in the local area. This is all focused on building a better future, quicker for our customers.”