Led by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), TRANSITION is testing the energy system architecture for the move to a smarter network supporting the UK’s net-zero targets. This week the energy regulator Ofgem announced the Oxfordshire-based project has successfully passed its Stage Gate test and will now proceed to delivery and trials.
The proliferation of low-carbon and flexible low-carbon technologies and solutions are creating new opportunities for households, businesses and communities to engage with the energy system. To support these fundamental changes SSEN launched TRANSITION in October 2018 to test how the system architecture can accommodate these changes in a cost effective manner for customers.
As a Network Innovation Competition (NIC) funded project, TRANSITION is required to pass a key Stage Gate as part of the governance. This tests whether the project remains relevant to the energy industry’s requirements to deliver change in a cost-effective manner for customers while ensuring continued justification of the business case and reflecting stakeholder feedback.
Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) are transitioning to become Distribution System Operators (DSOs) to help manage increasingly complex relationships within Great Britain’s energy system. This includes customers, shifting from merely consuming energy, to producing, storing, balancing and selling energy back to the system.
TRANSITION is designing, developing and demonstrating the operations of DSO architecture, informed by the ENA Open Networks Project. The project will trial local energy flexibility and facilitate new markets, such as peer-to-peer trading, while maintaining neutrality and customer expectations. Consisting of physical trials within Oxfordshire and simulated trials within the Electricity North West licence area, the project will provide a better understanding of how market rules can be designed to avoid conflicts of interest.
Brian Wann, TRANSITION Project Manager, welcomed the news:
“This is an important step towards realising a “proof of concept” for energy system architecture that will be critical in accommodating the UK’s net zero ambitions. This has been achieved through collaborative working, the sharing of information across the NIC projects and challenging the traditional ways things have been done.”
TRANSITION is a five-year project, and represents the first NIC where two Network Operators, SSEN and Electricity North West Limited, have worked together on a single project.