Ofgem has rewarded UK Power Networks for successfully delivering two flagship electricity network innovation projects on time and under budget.
The energy regulator has confirmed a Successful Delivery Reward (SDR) of £2.1million for Low Carbon London, which tested new ways for urban electricity networks to support low carbon technologies like electric vehicles, heat pumps and solar panels.
It also awarded just under £1million to the multi-award winning Flexible Plug and Play project, which introduced cheaper, interruptible electricity connections to the nearest viable point on the electricity network for onshore wind and solar farms in rural Cambridgeshire.
UK Power Networks delivers electricity to the doors of over eight million homes and businesses in London, the South East and East Anglia and innovates in the way it operates its networks to improve customer service and efficiency.
Martin Wilcox, head of future networks at UK Power Networks, said: “We are delighted Ofgem has recognised that our projects were well run, cost-efficient and delivered savings for consumers. We will apply the lessons learnt from these projects to keep pushing the envelope in the way we run our electricity networks to deliver the best service possible for our customers.”
Low Carbon London was delivered well under the £28.3million budget and secured royalty payments of £420,000 plus wider consumer savings, including £43million*2 over the next eight years from new-style demand side response contracts. Together with 11 partners it also trialled the first dynamic time-of-use tariff in Britain and provided new information on how much electricity networks must be strengthened to cope with electric car charging consumption.
Flexible Plug and Play was also delivered on time and below the £9.7million budget. Two solar farms and four onshore wind farms have already been connected to the network using the flexible approach, reducing network upgrades for green electricity developers. Now trials are complete the project has been renamed Flexible Distributed Generation before being rolled out more widely. UK Power Networks is currently using the system to help 30 electricity generators make their schemes viable, delivering 200MW of green electricity projects that would not otherwise be built.
UK Power Networks invested company and consumer funding in both projects and Ofgem’s Successful Delivery Reward represents a return on that initial investment. Ofgem only allows a successful delivery award when distribution networks can prove that the project has met its agreed output to a sufficient standard, on time and in a cost-effective way. Distribution networks also needed to show the projects had been well-managed.