Ofgem Announces GBP 46.4 Mln for Eight Projects

Ofgem has confirmed funding of £46.4 million for eight projects as part of its cutting-edge innovation competitions for the network companies that deliver energy to homes and businesses.

Ofgem runs three innovation competitions to help Britain’s energy networks become smarter and more cost-efficient. The Low Carbon Networks (LCN) Fund, the Gas Network Innovation Competition (NIC) and Electricity NIC help the electricity and gas networks accelerate developing a low carbon energy sector and deliver other environmental benefits and cost savings to consumers.

Ten projects submitted bids and now eight of these will share £46.4 million. Two of the submitted projects failed to demonstrate good value for consumers and didn’t receive funding.

Successful projects this year include:

  • Trials to see if automatically turning off transformers when they’re underused minimises electricity “losses” and lowers costs for customers.
  • Developing a robotic device to inspect the condition of hard-to-access gas pipelines – avoiding the costs of digging them up.
  • Allowing National Grid to explore new ways to keep the national electricity system balanced as more renewables connect – ensuring security of supply at lower cost for customers.
  • Converting a telecom-cable repair vessel so that it can repair offshore electricity cables and developing a new way of joining together different types of subsea cables – so repairs are quicker and cheaper.

Maxine Frerk, senior partner for distribution, said: “Energy networks are facing significant challenges in moving to a low carbon future and ensuring costs are kept low for consumers. Ofgem’s ground-breaking innovation competitions encourage the companies to prepare for the future. The eight projects receiving funding today have successfully demonstrated that they have real potential to deliver environmental and cost saving benefits.”

Press release; Image: transmissioncapital