Distribution network operator UK Power Networks is to trial new technology designed to support increased renewable energy.
The smart grid technology from Scottish company Faraday Grid is designed to resolve challenges faced by electricity networks in delivering more renewable energy, such as wind and solar power, at a lower cost to consumers.
The Faraday Grid is an autonomous, self-balancing network installed within an existing electricity grid. Comprised of a network of independent Faraday Exchangers, it is designed to automatically smooth the intermittency and volatility of renewable generation and new demands like electric vehicles and reduce the need for backup generation and balancing services.
When implemented at scale it has the potential to double the amount of renewable generation a grid can carry, the company claims.
Under the agreement between UK Power Networks and Faraday Grid, the world’s first Faraday Exchangers will be deployed on the London electricity network for live testing in spring 2019.
The aim of the trial is to assess the impact of the technology on the network, to learn whether it improves capacity and could help avoid more costly infrastructure upgrades.
Andrew Scobie, founder and CEO of Faraday, said: “Energy systems around the world are going through unprecedented change to meet increasing demand for electricity in a sustainable way. Renewable energy has a critical role to play and it is crucial it is delivered at the lowest cost, so that the transformative benefits of electricity can continue to be enjoyed by all. The Faraday Grid is specifically designed to ensure energy systems are equipped to meet society’s need for affordable, secure and clean energy long into the future.”
“Faraday’s technology has the potential to be transformational for distribution networks and the wider energy system,” added Ian Cameron, head of innovation at UK Power Networks.