Utility providers form partnership in step toward resilient infrastructure

The National Digital Twin programme (NDTp) is pleased to announce a first of its kind collaboration agreement with three major UK utility providers; Anglian Water, BT and UK Power Networks to work together on a Climate Resilience Demonstrator (CReDo).

This exciting collaboration between owners of infrastructure assets, researchers and innovators will apply the UK’s state of the art capabilities in systems engineering, digital asset management and modelling to the climate crisis to plan a more resilient built environment, keeping us all safer in the face of flooding and extreme weather.

Delivered through the government funded NDTp, CReDo will develop, for the first time in the UK, a digital twin across energy, water and telecoms networks to provide a practical example of how connected data can improve climate adaptation and resilience.

The CReDo project looks specifically at the impact of flooding caused by climate change on energy, water and telecoms networks. It demonstrates how those who own and operate them can use secure information sharing, across sector boundaries, to mitigate the effect of flooding on network performance and ensure reliable service delivery to customers.

Collaborating on CReDo are Anglian Water, BT and UK Power Networks, who will use their asset and operations data combined with environmental data by the Met Office to inform an increased level of infrastructure resilience.

The project will be delivered through a collaboration of research centres and industry partners; The Universities of Cambridge, Edinburgh, Exeter, Newcastle and Warwick will work alongside the Hartree Centre, DAFNI, Science and Technology Facilities Council, CMCL Innovations, the Joint Centre for Excellence in Environmental Intelligence and Mott MacDonald. It is funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the Connected Places Catapult and the University of Cambridge.

Using an Information Management Framework (IMF) approach, which is being developed through the NDTp, CReDO will enable the partners to share data across a secure platform. CReDo will demonstrate the capability of the IMF approach to connect digital twins in a principled, scalable way to inform decision making in capital and operational planning, reducing the cost and disruptive impact of extreme weather events and increasing resilience. This collaborative project will demonstrate the potential of a National Digital Twin to deliver beneficial outcomes for people and the planet.

CReDo project lead and author of the landmark report “Data for the Public Good”, Sarah Hayes, says: “We are really excited for what we can deliver through CReDo: demonstration that connected digital twins can enable increased climate resilience and that collaboration across a team that spans industry, academia and government forms the pieces of the puzzle that unlock solutions to reaching net zero.”

Matt Webb, head of enterprise data at UK Power Networks, says: “The CReDo project has presented an exciting opportunity to collaborate with fellow utilities to explore and demonstrate the benefits of data sharing and the application of advanced digital capabilities to address the threat of increasingly impactful severe weather events as a consequence of climate change.

“The ability to apply advanced data engineering techniques to effectively model the way a co-dependant national infrastructure operates could be a significant help in informing and enhancing our long, medium and short term planning in order to improve climate resilience across our networks and benefit customers.”

Head of Carbon Neutrality for Anglian Water, David Riley comments: “We’re incredibly exited to be part of this ground-breaking project. We have already begun seeing the real-life benefits that Digital Twin technology can bring to how we plan, construct and maintain our assets as a water company, while ensuring we remain on track to reach our net-zero target by 2030.

“Using the same innovation to look into the future and securely share data to plan climate change resilience across utility networks is incredibly powerful, vital, in fact, if we are to maintain service to our customers despite the extreme challenges we all face.”

Paul O’brien, Research Director, AI and Operations for BT adds: “The CReDo project helps us explore how to better protect the UKs critical infrastructure and services from the effects of climate change by collaborating with other infrastructure providers and top scientists from around the UK & by using digital twin technology at scale.”

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