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Efficient and Effective

Network Vision

A first-of its kind outage tracking and planning tool to maximise generation from distributed energy resources (DERs), which are often renewable energy.

Project-on-a-Page summary

Project data

Start date: 01/05/2018
End date: 04/05/2020
Budget: 0.98m

As we transition to a DSO, we will call on our DERs for flexibility services. This project aims to develop a planning and tracking tool that will allow GB DNOs to plan outages on the distribution network at the lowest cost possible across multiple programmes (capex deployment, I&M) whilst taking into account DER input.

We aim to develop a scalable network Outage Planning Tracking Tool (OPTT) that will have a customer-facing web portal to provide information about generation customer curtailments and shutdowns to our customers, and will provide an interface for our customers to engage with our Outage Planners.

We aim to conduct a procurement exercise to identify a suitable software supplier, work with the software supplier to design the tool, and provide support in its implementation and integration within UK Power Networks’ IS ecosystem. We will test the tool both for functionality but also for user experience prior to implementation and integration.

The project will introduce a new piece of software that is unproven in GB in the form of the OPTT. In addition to this, the project will enable the introduction of novel operational practices relating to outage planning for the GB distribution system, including the engagement with customers to enable optimal outage scheduling.

This solution is innovative as it enables centralised information management and coordination to minimise the costs associated with outage planning both for network licensees and customers. As supported by our January 2018 RFI and by reaching out to other DNOs, we believe that there is no existing solution that provides the benefits of OPTT and recognises the rapid growth of DG and DER solutions within the networks. Furthermore, OPTT will enable an innovative approach to outage planning that will actively take into account DER customer input, and will enable closer customer engagement than has been previously possible.

The proposed project has the potential to generate lessons that can be shared with the entire community of GB DNOs, as well as the TNOs. Lessons that will be shared are expected to include:

  • The benefits of customer engagement in effective outage planning;
  • Best practice for outage planning; and
  • Potential synergies between outage planning and capital programme delivery/connections.

We will disseminate lessons learned from the project via our regular Innovation reporting channels, as well as the project close down report. Other licensees will be invited to participate in demonstrations of the developed tool.

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