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Partnership to help meet UK net zero ambitions

Published: 3 December 2019 - Carly Wills

UK electricity network operator, SP Energy Networks, has announced its partnership with ERMCO - global manufacturer of distribution transformers and other electrical distribution solutions – on their innovative LV Engine project, designed to deliver a smarter grid with a lower carbon footprint.

The £8.3m flagship project, funded via Ofgem’s Network Innovation Competition (NIC), will demonstrate how smart transformers allow more agile management of the electricity network, and how integration of existing grid infrastructure with the increased uptake of low carbon technologies (such as wind turbines and electric vehicles) can ultimately help realise net zero ambitions.

The smart transformer solution for the project will be provided by ERMCO’s Gridbridge power electronics technology, with SP Energy Networks currently looking at roll out opportunities across its UK distribution network. This new type of grid asset will combine the power management capabilities of a traditional transformer with cutting-edge intelligent control technology.  When integrated with existing grid assets, smart transformers will allow increased grid capacity, deliver new DC services and ultimately increase grid resilience.

Colin Taylor, director of process and technology at SP Energy Networks said, “As our nation strives to tackle the current climate emergency and to deliver against net zero targets, we need to find smarter, more agile ways to manage the increased demand that creates across our electricity network. By partnering with ERMCO, we’re preparing for the wider roll-out of electric vehicles and other low carbon technologies by identifying innovative solutions that will start to set a new standard for the utilities industry.”

The LV Engine project will demonstrate how utilities can cost effectively shift to low carbon operations while still maintaining the security and stability of supply, and ultimately enabling the zero carbon communities of tomorrow.

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