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Innovative LV Engine project secures funding from Ofgem

The £8.5million LV Engine project with an objective of making the UK electric grid more efficient and flexible for uptake of new technologies has now received funding following a detailed review by Ofgem.


WSP took up the challenge set-out by SP Energy Networks (SPEN) to propose innovative ideas that could make the electric grid more efficient and bring value to UK electricity customers considering the growing number of low carbon network technologies (LCTs) connecting to the grid such as photovoltaics and electric vehicles. 

The Power Networks team from WSP put forward the idea of deploying solid state transformer, which is a new technology that provides functionalities to control power flow and voltage in the network.

It would offer SPEN and other UK distribution operators great flexibility and control over the operation of low voltage networks.

This idea was selected by SPEN to be entered in the 2017 Network Innovation Competition (NIC) process under the project name of LV Engine.

In addition to answering the initial challenge, WSP has supported SPEN in developing the details of the LV Engine project proposal. This included the technical requirements, cost benefit analysis and project delivery plan.

Ali Kazerooni, WSP Principal Engineer said: “It’s very exciting news that funding has been secured from Ofgem. As LCTs such as electric vehicles become increasingly popular and more devices connect to the network, there will be significant strain on the low voltage network. LV Engine offers an efficient solution to alleviate the network constraints which otherwise would require expensive and time-consuming traditional network reinforcement.

“We are looking forward to offering expertise in the range of power systems modelling, power electronics and design and installation of distribution equipment to SPEN for delivering the LV Engine project.”

Notes to editors:

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