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Our Changing Electricity Network

Doing nothing is not an option.

Our networks are at the heart of the transition to a low carbon economy. As a Distribution Network Operator we recognise the opportunities and challenges for the UK’s changing energy landscape.

One of the biggest opportunities and challenges all Distribution Network Operators are facing is that electricity networks were built for the traditional one-way flow of energy. But as we change the way we generate, distribute and use energy, there is a need to facilitate multi-directional flows of electricity across the network.

In areas resource rich in terms of wind yield and land, but low in population density and electrical demand, we are already managing the challenge of how to use, manage and export this energy at a local level. This means that energy is starting to flow in different directions across distribution networks. As network operators we need to adapt to meet these challenges whilst maintaining low cost and reliable energy distribution for our customers.

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SP Distribution, comprised of: Generation Contracted - 2.01 Gigawatts, Generation Connected - 2.25 Gigawatts, Demand - 3.56 Gigawatts. SP Manweb, comprised of Generation Contracted 1.11 Gigawatts, Generation Connected 1.84 Gigawatts, Demand 3.02 Gigawatts.

Rise of the Prosumer

Our customers are increasingly becoming ‘prosumers’ (both consumers and producers of electricity). They often want the energy they produce to feed into our network and we have to adjust the way we work to meet their needs.

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The ENA Open Networks Project is a major energy industry initiative that will transform the way our energy networks work, underpinning the delivery of the smart grid. It brings together Great Britain's network operators and Distribution Network Operators from Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland and has included a broad range of stakeholders in its development work, including the energy regulator Ofgem, Government departments, independent Distribution Network Operators (iDNOs), customers, generators, suppliers, storage providers, respected academics, Citizens Advice Bureau and other Non-Government Organisations amongst others."

Open Networks, Energy Networks Association (ENA)

Click here for more information on Open Networks.