UK Power Networks named world leader in Smart Grids

An independent global benchmark has named UK Power Networks as the world’s leading utility in Smart Grids. Singapore-based SP Group, which produces the annual Smart Grid Index, placed UK Power Networks top of its study of 85 utilities across 37 countries.

The Smart Grid Index has been running for three years and measures the progress that utilities are making against seven key dimensions: customer satisfaction and environment, green energy, security, monitoring and control, data analytics, supply reliability and Distributed Energy Resources integration.

UK Power Networks has been ranked first in the UK and Europe since the study began in 2018, but this is the first time the distribution network has topped the global table.

In 2020 the network’s Smart Grid Development Team continued to lead the way in pioneering new markets for renewable energy through its flexibility tenders. In autumn it made more than £50 million available for providers to bid for 250MW of flexible energy services across 130 sites in its largest ever open tender.

It is also putting in place technology to manage the distribution network, which was labelled “amongst the world’s most advanced” by respected independent American consultancy Wood Mackenzie in a report published in summer 2020.

Barry Hatton, director of asset management at UK Power Networks says: “When we published our Future Smart Strategy in 2018 we made a commitment to work closely with the industry and co-create new products and services to aid our transition to the electricity network of the future, and that commitment remains key to our success.

“We aim to be a leader in creation and collaboration to ensure we secure the low-carbon economy that’s best for society. By working collaboratively, sharing good practice and by keeping our customers at the heart of our approach, we aim to deliver a smart grid for all. We’re delighted that our work has been recognised on a global stage in the Smart Grid Index, but we know there’s still a lot to do to transition from a distribution network operator to a distribution system operator.”

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