The region’s network power operator has found a way to reduce demand for electricity across the North West, without anyone noticing a difference to their supply.
As part of its award-winning CLASS project, Electricity North West has found that installing cutting edge ‘voltage controllers’ in its substations could save customers in the North West around £100 million over the next 25 years – and £300 million across Great Britain.
During a 12-month trial, the new voltage controllers were installed at 60 substations which each serve around 10,000 customers. Detailed research carried out during the trial showed that customers didn’t notice any change in their electricity supply.
Electricity North West has now awarded a contract to Schneider Electric to supply enhanced voltage controllers which will be installed at up to 260 substations across the North West.
Steve Cox, engineering and technology director for Electricity North West, said: “We are always looking at ways we can use new technology to improve service and reduce costs for our customers. By reducing the voltage across the whole network at tiny levels which are unnoticeable to end users, we can save a significant amount of power for the region.
“This ground-breaking approach can be used to help balance electricity supply and demand for the whole of Great Britain. This makes the network more flexible and importantly, helps save customers money.”
James Allen, operations director for Schneider Electric, said: “Schneider Electric is delighted to be working with Electricity North West on this innovative project using modern technology to make their power networks dynamic, responsive to customer needs and to reduce costs.
“This initiative fits with our underlying mission of making the very best of our energy for all concerned and we will strive to make this project a success for all involved.”
You can find out more about CLASS on Electricity North West’s website at www.enwl.co.uk/class.