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Power company’s green cost-cutter is a winner

A new electricity connections service which is already saving customers £21million has scooped a second industry award.

From Press releases - 17 November 2014 12:00 AM

Power company's green cost-cutter is a winner-1.jpg

A new electricity connections service which is already saving customers £21million has scooped a second industry award.

UK Power Networks jointly won the prize for innovation at the Energy Institute Awards in London on Thursday (November 13) for Flexible Plug and Play. The project connects solar and onshore wind farms – renewable electricity generators - to the network faster and cheaper so they can export green power.

When the network is busy their output can be curtailed to protect the network from overload. In certain instances, this has little impact on the generators as it is significantly outweighed by cost savings on their initial connection. It is already allowing the connection of 33.88MW of green electricity projects worth an estimated £35million – projects which would not have been financially viable without the service.

What began as a trial in an area of Cambridgeshire is being extended next year due to popular demand. In July, the project won the East of England Energy Group’s low carbon energy innovation award.

Sotiris Georgiopoulos, the project’s director, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive further recognition for a project which is saving our customers millions of pounds, supporting nationally-binding carbon reduction targets and green collar jobs.

“An idea that we developed just three years ago has proved so successful during the trial stages that we will be rolling it out more widely in East Anglia and the South East from next year.  It is contributing to the economic development of the renewables industry at a time when the imperative to tackle global warming is becoming ever more urgent.”

Lynda Armstrong OBE FEI, chair of British Safety Council, chaired this year’s Energy Institute Awards judging panel which included representatives from across all sectors of the energy industry. Lynda said: “The EI Awards are a great opportunity to showcase and celebrate the diversity of innovation and excellence in the sector. This year was no exception; we reviewed a large number of applications across the whole spectrum of activities from improving recovery in the oil and gas sector to energy saving schemes across the UK. All of the projects showed the effort in progress to maintain an efficient and dynamic energy industry.”

The project delivered:
• smart grid technologies which manage the network automatically
• the world’s first technology that allows management of power flow on the network at 33,000 volts – the Quadrature booster
• a commercial model that allows generators to obtain finance for these new connection arrangements