The Customer-Led Network Revolution project was a major smart grid demonstration project, led by Northern Powergrid, in partnership with British Gas, Durham University, Newcastle University and EA Technology.
More than 13,000 domestic, SME, industrial and commercial customers and merchant generators took part in the project, which involved the trialling of innovative smart grid solutions on the Northern Powergrid electricity network and the trialling of novel commercial arrangements to encourage customer flexibility. The project delivered robust learning that is applicable to a high percentage of GB networks and customer demographics.
Learning from this project will help distribution network operators (DNOs) like find cost-effective ways to manage the introduction of low carbon technologies like solar PV, heat pumps and electric vehicles and ensure customers continue to receive a safe, secure and affordable electricity supply both now, and in a low carbon future.
The project was designed to predict future loading patterns as the country moves towards a low carbon future and to research novel network and commercial arrangements and techniques to establish how they can be integrated to accommodate the growth of low carbon technologies in the most efficient manner. The project trialled new network monitoring techniques to measure power flow, voltage and harmonics, trialling alternative smarter solutions that employ active network management and customer engagement to increase network capacity and/or modify load patterns and it developed new planning and design decision support tools for engineers.