Locamation starts smart grid automation pilot project with UK power distributor SSE
Locamation, a developer and supplier of independent smart grid automation solutions, has entered into an agreement to conduct a pilot with the distribution network operator (DNO) Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) Power Distribution.
The pilot project for SSE, one of the largest power distribution networks in the UK, aims to provide increased understanding and control of the network condition while helping to prepare for a low carbon economy. The project runs under the umbrella of the Innovation Funding Incentive (IFI).
David MacLeman, SSE’s Future Networks and Policy Research and Development Manager, said: “SSE has chosen Locamation’s SASensor technology as it has the potential to provide many advantages over traditional substation protection solutions. Both capital and operational expenditure costs can be reduced. At the same time the remote monitoring facilities and the flexibility of the substation’s protection and control systems will be improved. This should allow SSE to operate a more dynamic and efficient network that can benefit all customers.”
The pilot, currently scheduled to run for one year, will equip one primary substation with Locamation’s ‘SASensor HMV’ which enables measurement and monitoring of grid patterns, protection and control at a medium voltage level. The IFI was established by UK energy regulator, Ofgem and primarily aims to encourage network operators to apply innovation in the technical development of their networks. It also offers funding to encourage operators to deliver value (eg. financial, quality of supply, environmental, safety) to consumers.
Locamation’s COO, Pascal Bleeker commented: “We are delighted to enter this pilot with SSE – a leading energy company in the UK – and to help them prepare for the transition to secure more reliable, affordable and sustainable energy supplies. Locamation has 40% contracted market share in Dutch HMV substations with SASensors operational in more than 60 primary substations of the largest DNO in the Netherlands. In the UK we have had installations running at National Grid for more than a decade. Following the recent choice by WPD and UKPN to use SASensor technology for their secondary substations I hope this pilot in the primary substation of SSE is the beginning of a long-standing, comprehensive and successful partnership.”
The existing infrastructure of grid distribution networks requires extensive upgrades in order to efficiently balance supply and demand and to improve stability and minimise power interruptions. In order for DNOs to employ the right measures for efficient grid operation, new technology must be deployed.
The SASensor HMV is a flexible solution which digitises primary substations, allowing DNOs complete web-based management and local protection of their networks with full remote data collection and monitoring, including support and training for the installation. Locamation will supply the SASensor HMV solution with common automation applications like monitoring, protection and control. Locamation says that, owing to the intelligent system architecture, future requirements and functionalities can be easily implemented with software upgrades at a later stage.