Ofgem announces £57m for seven new innovative energy network projects

Courtney Goldsmith
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Ofgem is the energy industry regulator (Source: Getty)

The energy watchdog is providing up to £57.5m for seven new network projects to spur innovation in the industry.

Ofgem's annual network innovation competitions award companies funding to deliver fresh projects with the potential to benefit energy customers.

"The successful projects trial innovative practices and new technologies. They have been selected because they will help network licensees to understand how to meet customers’ changing requirements as Great Britain moves towards a low carbon economy," Ofgem said.

"Innovation is crucial to meeting these outcomes by changing what is considered ‘business as usual’ and enabling a more rapid pace of change in the sector."

Read more: UK energy networks work to create new opportunities with the smart grid

The seven winning projects were:

  • Northern Gas Networks: Examining whether gas networks in Great Britain can safely transport gas that is 100 per cent hydrogen
  • SGN: Using advanced robotics to cut costs and lower the environmental impact of carrying out street works
  • UK Power Networks: Using automation technology to squeeze more capacity out of local electricity networks so that more consumers can be connected without expensive grid reinforcement
  • Western Power Distribution: Developing new ways of supporting flexibility markets' forecasting of when flexibility services are needed on local electricity networks
  • SP Energy Networks: Trialling a local market for providing flexibility services using systems which have been developed in Europe
  • SP Energy Networks: Testing whether advanced transformers can be used by low carbon generators to release more capacity on lower voltage networks
  • Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks: Developing and trialling markets for the provision of flexibility services on electricity distribution networks

Separate figures published by Ofgem today showed that the gap between the Big Six energy suppliers' standard variable tariffs and the cheapest deals was £308 last month. The figure was flat compared with the previous month.

Read more: Ofgem sets out tougher price controls from 2021

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