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Low Carbon Ready


Envision is developing and trialing machine learning software to enhance visibility of our network, helping us to plan ahead and facilitate a Net Zero future for all.

Project-on-a-Page summary

Project data

Start date: 01/12/2020
End date: 30/09/2022
Budget: £1,971,000

Having detailed ‘visibility’ of our network is critical as we plan ahead to facilitate a Net Zero carbon emissions future. In simple terms, ‘visibility’ means collecting data about exactly what’s happening on our network at a given time. The data can be about many different things, from how power is flowing through the network to how our assets are performing. As more renewables connect to the network and more people switch to electric vehicles and electric heating, having exact data means we can forecast ahead and plan investment in our network.

Envision is developing and trialing a software-based, machine learning tool to enhance visibility and unlock fresh insights so we can continue to facilitate Net Zero. We are also developing a portal that will collect useful external data from third parties to provide actionable insights.

Envision will take place in three concurrent stages:

  • Deploying a machine learning software tool with automated data handling to model our network. By doing so, we aim to achieve blanket network visibility and understand how the tool can be used to its maximum in practice.
  • Adding in other data sets to the software, including data from electric vehicles and distributed energy resources, to demonstrate it can unlock even greater insights.
  • Assessing how the tool could be used in conjunction with the other hardware already deployed on our network, to provide further data insights.

An early version of the software tool was first tested in 2020 in a limited scale. In Envision, we’ll take the concept further than ever before, extending the trial to create unprecedented insights.

As part of the project, we’re taking a ‘data first’ approach and deploying the latest machine learning practices so the tool can continually provide greater and greater visibility of our network.

Envision will create new insights about our network by establishing a software tool that we can use for forecasting. Forecasting allows us to plan ahead and invest strategically to facilitate the Net Zero carbon emissions revolution. The project will also help us understand how the software can be put to best use, how it integrates with our other devices, what additional data streams we can add to it and how it can deliver value to our stakeholders.


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