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Network Capacity - Technology Options, Benefits & Barriers Workshop and Multi-Criteria Assessment: WP1 Tasks 6 & 7


Citation Mott MacDonald Network Capacity - Technology Options, Benefits & Barriers Workshop and Multi-Criteria Assessment: WP1 Tasks 6 & 7, ETI, 2010. https://doi.org/10.5286/UKERC.EDC.000685.
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Author(s) Mott MacDonald
Project partner(s) Mott MacDonald
Publisher ETI
DOI https://doi.org/10.5286/UKERC.EDC.000685
Download ESD_EN2002_7.pdf document type
Abstract The UK’s electricity transmission and distribution systems have little spare capacity to accommodate the widespread changes in volume and location of power flows arising from planned changes in generation type and characteristics, and from major changes in demand patterns. Gaining consents for the construction of new overhead lines is extremely time-consuming and costly. Without action, this will increasingly constrain the necessary changes in generation and demand.

The ‘Network Capacity’ project has assessed the feasibility of using new technologies now emerging in the marketplace or in development, including multi-terminal HVDC systems, in novel ways in order to provide increased Transmission & Distribution system capacity and improved management of network power flows, in order to facilitate increased renewable energy installation levels in the UK.

This document addresses the full range of technologies considered during the project, including both FACTS and HVDC technologies. It contains two reports:
  • Appendix A. Smarter Grid Solutions Report: Technology Options, Benefits and Barriers Workshop Review (Task 6; starts page 11)
    The main objectives of the workshop were to:
    • Ensure all participants are informed about project activities and expected outcomes
    • Consider the relative merits of the technologies under review
    • Identify all issues that translate into benefits or barriers for the technologies under review
    • Identify and prioritise assessment criteria
    • Assess the range of opinions on uncertain, controversial and subjective issues
    • •Identify and assess technology development opportunities
    The workshop satisfied all of these objectives

  • Appendix B. Smarter Grid Solutions Report: Multi-Criteria Assessment of Technologies (Task 7; starts page 42)
    This workshop looked at the interaction between various factors in selecting the most appropriate area of further investigation. The assessment results indicated that the assessment criteria would be fulfilled most effectively by pursuing the following development options:
    • Investigate use of energy storage to help solve ANM constraints
    • Commission work on new HVDC systems/topologies
    • Prompt changes in regulatory framework to change business drivers
    • Develop effective DC breaker or blocking capability
    An alternative interpretation of the analysis is to focus on the one criterion that was ranked most highly, which was the potential to reduce CO2 emissions. The development options that were considered to perform best for this single criterion were:
    • Prompt changes in regulatory framework to change business drivers
    • Support R&D in new devices for greater capability/performance
    • Commission work on new HVDC systems/topologies
    • Develop effective DC breaker or blocking capability
    • Investigate use of energy storage to help solve ANM constraints
    Energy storage was highlighted as being of particular interest and very relevant to the challenges faced in connecting more renewables to the existing system. It is an important outcome of this work that energy storage did not feature amongst the technologies identified for consideration but when industry stakeholders discussed the objectives and context for the assessment energy storage was highlighted as being of value.
    It is perceived that the technology could be effective in meeting the assessment criteria, including enhancing network capacity and allowing more renewables to connect, but some changes to the regulatory environment may be necessary for this solution to be used widely.
Associated Project(s) ETI-EN2002: Network Capacity
Associated Dataset(s) No associated datasets
Associated Publication(s)

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Network Capacity - Final Project Summary (Work Packages 1 & 2 a.k.a. WP1 Task 8)

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Network Capacity - Request for Proposal

Network Capacity - WP1 Task 1: Assessment of Power Electronic Technologies - A literature review of the relevant power electronic technologies

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