Shetland Islands smart grid trial hailed as success

The system operator claims its five year long Northern Isles New Energy Solutions (NINES) project has shown that the capability of smart grids to work reliably with high levels of renewable penetration.

In addition, it has demonstrated scope for integrating countless UK home appliances into electricity distribution networks, SSEN that was stated.

The scheme examined using a new active network management (ANM) management system along with nationally demand-side reaction (DSR) and also utility-scale energy storage to enable the greater integration of renewables into the islanded power grid.

“By creating flexible requirement on the seas, through the utilization of smart technologies and energy storage, we’ve made progress in exploiting and maximising Shetland’s renewable production potential and reducing the generated output from renewable energy channels,” explained SSEN head of asset management and innovation Stewart Reid.

“This was an important accomplishment as it will notify the transition to a low carbon economy. Additionally, it offered us the opportunity to trial the technology in an environment which could then be placed on the wider GB electricity network.”

Reid said the job had demonstrated that their appliances and national properties could be incorporated into an ANM system. “There’s significant roll out possible from the UK with more than 2.2 million homes currently using electrical heating systems, which might adopt similar technology,” he added.

The trial was largely funded through specific conditions in the power distribution permit of SSEN even though it benefitted from grants of roughly # 1 million by the Low Carbon Networks Fund and the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

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