Negar Shams, PSC UK
PSC was pleased to contribute to the innovation taking place across the UK electricity and gas industry through the Energy Networks Innovation Conference (ENIC) where we hosted an exhibitor stand with our strategic partner Harmonic Analytics and discussed our range of services and innovation projects in the UK and around the world.
The 11th annual Energy Networks Innovation Conference was held virtually for the second year running from 12 to 15 October 2021. This year the event was spread over four consecutive half-days, two mornings and two afternoons with the conference platform remaining “open” to November 12. Attendance was up over last year with over 3,000 registrations from 116 countries, 35% outside of the UK.
The main theme of the conference was around the following points:
- Granular monitoring of the LV networks which allows higher visibility, leading to faster/easier connections and an increase in Low Carbon Technology (LCT) uptakes. This, in turn, helps improve the load forecast, identifying constraints and allowing customers to participate in flexibility services. As an example, WPD and PSC’s Energy Planning Integrated with Councils (EPIC) NIA project was presented.
- EV uptake implications on distribution networks; including their impacts on network capacity, thermal and voltage constraints as well as their possible role in helping to operate the network by acting as flexible energy sources. Many innovation projects dealing with smart charging concepts were discussed such as SPEN’s NIC-funded Charge project.
- Great emphasis on digitalization and visualization of networks on different layers including gas, electricity and even traffic information. As an example, ENA’s National Energy System Map (NESM) project aims to build a detailed digital map of the energy system bringing together Britain’s mainland gas and electricity networks.
- Network resilience for the energy systems transition, exploring avenues to compensate for the potential lack of stability that has been previously provided by traditional fossil-fuelled generations. As an example, Virtual Synchronous Machine control of a battery system was demonstrated which has the potential to provide stability by enabling control over frequency and voltage fluctuations.
The conference platform worked well and it allowed attendees to join the sessions, raise questions and interact with the speakers and panelists. The platform also included a virtual exhibition hall with various company stands, including one from PSC. Each stand could include marketing material, such as videos and project/product descriptions, and an overview of the services and company competencies.
Overall ENIC conference was a good opportunity to attend some interesting sessions and get a feel of the current trends aimed at furthering the net-zero target, especially on the DSO’s side.