Audio Transcript: Phoenix GB Roadmap

The text below is the transcript from the Phoenix GB Road Map video. An audio-described version of the video is also available.


V.O: The progressive closure of Thermal Power plants and the growth of distributed renewable generation within the UK has resulted in a need to find new and innovative solutions to protect both the quality and resilience of the energy supply.

The spinning mass located within conventional thermal power stations, which has provided stability in the past, is being replaced by renewable energy, such as windfarms. Existing technology, such as a static compensator alone, cannot maintain the quality and resilience of supply expected by our customers. As a result, grid stabilisation becomes more challenging.

One of the proposed solutions for this is our Phoenix project, which is a £17m, 4-year innovation project, funded by the OFGEM Network Innovation Competition. Phoenix has introduced and trialled the concept of the world’s first Hybrid Synchronous Condenser. This is essentially the joining of two pre-existing technologies, a STATCOM and a Synchronous Condenser.

Alongside our project partners, we have demonstrated the technical and economic advantages of deploying this technology during our live trial. This will support the future roll-out across the country, helping the UK transition towards Net-Zero while maintaining security of supply for our customers.

A key aim of the Phoenix project is to share what the future roll out of this technology would look like on the GB network. As we near the completion of the project, with help from our project partners we’ve published a GB road map report. This report provides guidance on technical specifications, potential variants, location and installation considerations, and commercial incentives for the roll out of this technology amongst others.

 

Jay Ramachandran: A key part of the project live trial has been to explore the functionalities and technical specifications of the H-SC technology on the GB network, specifically from a network operator perspective.

 

Lilian Macleod: There is also a focus on revenue streams and the route to market for H-SC’s – looking at for example how owners could offer their services to the Electricity System Operator. The current approaches which are discussed in the report are:

• Network Company Regulated Assets

• The Network Options Assessment, or NOA process

• And Stability Pathfinder

 

Graham Campbell: We are delighted with the success we have seen from Project Phoenix through the trial activities we have been working on here. This is the world’s first implementation of this technology, and we are now beginning to see the impact this innovative solution can have on our network, confirming what we set out to do.

We’re increasingly excited by the potential benefits this technology will bring to the wider GB network to help achieve our Net Zero ambition. A key benefit of the technology installed here is the increase in boundary transfer capability between Scotland and England, by up to 98MW, allowing more renewable generation to be transported across the UK.

We are already building on the learning from Project Phoenix, as we will be rolling out this technology during the next few years at our Eccles substation, which it in itself, will provide an increased boundary transfer capability between Scotland and England of 280MW.

Ultimately, hybrid synchronous condensers can help combat climate change by aiding more renewable energy integration, while maintaining security and stability of the GB transmission network.

 

V.O: We’ll share more on the project in the coming months, but in the meantime, you can read more about Phoenix and the GB-road map on our website.

 

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