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UK Power Networks’ DSO opens up new data to boost renewables

UK Power Networks’ DSO opens up new data to boost renewables

UK Power Networks’ independent Distribution System Operator has taken a significant step in promoting transparency by publishing comprehensive data on the curtailment history within its network. This move makes it the first DSO in the UK to openly share such information, addressing industry demands for greater data accessibility.

The initiative aims to mitigate the impact of curtailment on distributed energy resources and enhance the flow of renewable energy into homes. Curtailment occurs when there is a need to reduce the output of energy sources to maintain network safety and stability. 

Curtailment is a common occurrence for flexible connection customers, a system introduced by UK Power Networks in 2014. While this system allows for quicker and more cost-effective connections for renewable energy generators, it does occasionally result in curtailed energy exportation.

In response to this challenge, UK Power Networks’ independent DSO has been proactive in making detailed curtailment data available to the public via its Open Data Portal. This transparency is part of the company’s broader effort, since launching the UK’s first independent DSO in May 2023, to understand and efficiently manage curtailment processes.

Sotiris Georgiopoulos, the DSO Director, emphasises the importance of robust data in managing curtailment, especially with the growing number of renewable energy projects. He stated, “We know generators want to get as much of the energy they produce onto the network, and that’s exactly what we are doing. By gaining a really clear understanding of exactly what’s happening and then working with our customers, we’ve been able to deliver a significant drop in the volume and duration of curtailment.”

Georgiopoulos further added, “We strongly believe in the principle of opening up our data, and we’re opening up granular curtailment reporting, to release data on exactly how much spare capacity is available at each Grid Supply Point, and how many projects have already requested a new connection supporting customers by sharing more data and ultimately getting more renewable energy into people’s homes at lower cost.”

Philippa Hardy, Commercial Director of Locogen, welcomed UK Power Networks’ decision, noting the benefits of increased data availability for planning renewable energy, energy storage, and hydrogen projects. “The more data we have on curtailment, capacity, and constraints, the more we can support our clients to plan where renewable energy, energy storage, and hydrogen projects are best placed to support the networks and customers,” Hardy commented.

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