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We are going to the UK’s leading electricity innovation summit

Posted on 5 December 2017 11:33 AM by mitch1r

Telford. Birthplace of the industrial revolution, population 150,000, home to the Jackfield Tile Museum and venue for the upcoming Low Carbon Networks Innovation Conference.

We take innovation seriously at UK Power Networks, because it delivers results for our customers. Our team of more than 25 run a portfolio of almost 40 different innovation projects trialling new ideas that will help us keep our customers lights on and create a safer, more secure and cost-efficient energy system.

This annual conference is a time where all of the UK gas and electricity network operators get together to give public updates on their innovation portfolios. The Low Carbon Network Fund (LCNF) supports these projects. Effectively collaborating at this yearly event helps us maximise the return on LCNF investment. At UK Power Networks, we strongly focus on using innovation to improve our core business performance. We do it by focusing our efforts on three areas:

•  Efficient & Effective: Running our network better, everything from sensors that help us locate a fault more quickly to installing woodpecker-repellent filler in our wooden poles

•  Low carbon ready: Making sure the electricity network can support exciting new technology like electric vehicles and renewable energy

•  Future ready: Preparing the network for the more complex and interconnected smart grid of the future, where everyone can be both a consumer and producer of energy

Since the beginning of the RIIO-ED1 regulatory period, innovation at UK Power Networks has delivered savings of £120 million. We see the LCNI conference as one of the best yearly opportunities to learn from our peers, gather new ideas and share the details of our top projects.

At the conference there will be exhibitions and presentations; opportunities to network and learn. Conference attendees are a great deal more diverse than you might imagine for an energy infrastructure event. As well as delegates from the networks themselves, there will be manufacturing, consultant, university and think tank representatives.

Like most conferences, there will be an exhibition to explore as well as speeches and presentations to attend. Delegates from UK Power Networks will be speaking at seven sessions throughout the conference, covering a huge variety of topics. These will range from our first-of-its-kind solid state circuit breaker (Powerful-CB) to batteries masquerading as washing machines (DESC) to the new software which is a game changer for renewable energy (KASM), to name but a few. We will give a succinct update on a number of our projects, and share useful information with other network operators. For us, the key message is that the projects today are helping evolve our business to facilitate the low carbon transition and be ready for the future.

There is something special about getting a group of people together to discuss ideas. A live presentation, with lively Q&A afterward will always be more engaging than a webinar. Having a conversation on neutral territory about shared challenges is more likely to result in improvements than a conference call. And perhaps most importantly, the meetings that can happen at a conference would never happen if we all stayed at home. The benefits of future innovation are significant – to us and to our customers. As such, it is of high priority that we work as hard as we can to get the most out of these collaboration events.


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