Innovators to collaborate with UK Power Networks

UK Power Networks has underlined its commitment to innovating for the future by securing funding for a dozen new projects.

The projects will enter their initial discovery phase through Ofgem and Innovate UK’s Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF). If successful, they will help customers and the wider electricity sector accelerate their net zero plans, build network resilience, access lower costs and streamline maintenance activities.

Building on the 13 projects already underway from SIF’s 2023 funding round, UK Power Networks now runs nearly a quarter of the electricity and gas sector’s SIF projects.

The funding allows electricity and gas firms to work in partnership with independent innovators. The 12 newly funded projects will see more than 20 innovators partner with UK Power Networks.

The projects include:

  • Electric Thames: Exploring the viability of electric-powered boats on the River Thames and the possibility of boat power feeding the electricity grid to increase energy flexibility and reduce peak electricity demand.
  • KnowMyFlex: A proposal to create Energy Flexibility Certificates, similar to energy performance certificate (or EPC) ratings, to show the existing and future flexibility potential of homes and buildings, helping customers engage with flexibility to reduce their bills.
  • WASH: An advanced study into the ways heat can be efficiently captured from wastewater and used to help district heat networks decarbonise.

Luca Grella, Head of Innovation at UK Power Networks, says, “We’ve made remarkable strides during our first year with the SIF programme and are excited to be heading into a second with a new wave of projects which have exciting potential to make a real impact on both our communities and the way we work.

“This funding is allowing us to continue building strong bonds with some of the brightest minds in the sector. Our project collaborators play a key role in helping us deliver tangible benefits for our customers, and we can’t wait to reap the rewards of these partnerships.”

Currently, the company has successfully transitioned 58 innovation projects to its business-as-usual workflow, saving customers more than £425 million over the past eight years. Launched in 2021, the SIF fund is expected to invest £450 million by 2026.

To read more on UK Power Networks, click here.

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