Maximising the performance of electricity networks as part of the transition to a low carbon energy system is a critical challenge facing the sector.
Energy Systems Catapult together with the Power Networks Demonstration Centre chose Neuville Grid Data as the collaboration partner for the Power Systems Challenge to test the capability and network behaviour of innovative SME solutions to Future Power Systems Architecture-identified challenges.
The Challenge and Opportunity
The electrification of heat and transport alongside the decentralisation of energy production is putting additional strain on local electricity networks and driving the requirements on District Network Operators to become District Systems Operators, with full active management of the infrastructure.
In 2017, Energy Systems Catapult and the Power Networks Demonstration Centre (PNDC) in Strathclyde, launched the Power Systems Challenge, with the aim to collaborate with and test an SME’s solution to one of five key challenges identified in the Future Power Systems Architecture programme and to demonstrate the capability and behaviour of the network in response. Neuville Grid Data was selected as the partner SME to take the project forward.
Neuville Grid Data and its international research partners are developing a ground-breaking power grid monitoring capability. Its advanced sensor network will collect ultra-high-resolution, time-series data on electric grid conditions to enhance and enable power quality management; renewable energy generation; energy storage services; smart grid operations; reduced energy losses; equipment condition monitoring; capital investment and more.
Energy Systems Catapult is home to the Innovator Support Platform (ISP) that draws on Catapult capabilities and assets, along with those of our partners. The ISP provides innovators with tailored incubation and acceleration support to selected SMEs to help address systemic barriers, de-risk innovation, help businesses scale and secure investment.
Tailored support for selected SMEs utilising Catapult assets and capabilities, and delivery partner offerings, such as Business Sprint’ workshops, Business Model Development, Energy System Integration assessment, Consumer Insights, Concept testing and validation, Identification of candidates for Acceleration support.
The ISP commissioned a partner to review of the market opportunity and the potential Neuville value proposition was delivered, including a range of applications for the technology and regulatory market readiness.
As collaboration partner, Neuville Grid Data will be able to test its equipment on the 11kV distribution grid simulation testbed at the PNDC near Glasgow with assistance from the University of Strathclyde, with the aim of ultimately accelerating its journey to commerciality.
The ISP team identified that the test time at PNDC could be utilised to help support and progress an application for an NIA project. The project scope is currently being evaluated by Neuville, the Catapult and PNDC to determine the best use of time to support Neuville’s ongoing development.
Support offered to Neuville, include:
- Investment Readiness Assessment: The Innovator Support Platform and partner J Bryers carried out a detailed critique of the Neuville investment presentation materials, highlighting the gaps that needed to be addressed. This allowed a new version of the business plan to be created. An introduction has been made to a potential investor.
- NIA Application: Catapult partner Apteno has drawn on material experience and insight to help Neuville carry out preparatory work for a project bid with UK Power Networks.