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Transmission and Renewables Management

UK Power Networks Partners with GE Digital on Smart Substation Project to Drive Net Zero Outcomes


Million tons of carbon emissions expected saved by 2050


Facilitate Rise of Renewables across the UK

Smart substation

World-first smart substation project



UK Power Networks


Electric Utilities


Wide Area Management System and Control (WAMS - WAMC), PhasorController

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Transmission and Renewables Management

As the share of renewables in the electricity mix continues to grow, network operators are looking at ways to integrate them into the distribution network more efficiently. UK Power Networks is partnering with GE Digital on a world-first smart substation project designed to optimize utilization of the distribution network to facilitate the rise of renewable energy generation across the United Kingdom. 


Known as Constellation, the project aims to release 1.4 GW of capacity (enough to power more than 700,000 homes) and save consumers more than £750 million by 2050. It is also forecast to save more than 17.8M tons of harmful greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. 


Smart substations optimize distribution network utilization and contribute to net-zero targets


Constellation is a world-first innovation project that will see powerful computers installed in a series of substations, turning them into smart substations. It provides a unique approach to distribution network management through decentralized operation using data analytics and machine learning, reducing reliance on communications to and from the central control systems


A key aspect of Constellation is the installation of GE Digital’s PhasorController in substations to enable the deployment of multiple smart applications. This will include functionality to optimize distribution network utilization and contribute to net-zero targets while reducing the need for investment in additional infrastructure.


UK Power Networks is adapting to increasingly complex power flows by becoming smarter so we can safely release more capacity and enable more renewable energy to connect at lower cost – saving customers money and helping the environment at the same time.

Ian Cameron - Head of Customer Services and Innovation, UK Power Networks


"We already have smart control rooms and grid edge devices like smart electric vehicle chargers. Having smart substations in the middle pulling it all together is a logical next step,” said Mr. Cameron.


PhasorController distributes intelligence and control to the substation and Distributed Energy Resources (DER) connections to complement the existing central control, providing resilience and continuity of DER operation when communications links are unavailable. The solution uses data analytics and machine learning (ML) to incorporate data from periods when communication and the network is managed normally. This “trains” machine learning models centrally and distributes the models to the local renewable generation controls, so they are ready to go live if/when communications are lost.


By using data and smarter substations, UK Power Networks can facilitate more green energy and continue to deliver a secure and reliable network for customers.


Read press release:

UK Power Networks will drive net zero outcomes


Read the article in T&D World: 

UK Power Networks Deploys Outage Restoration Tool

Forward Thinking UK Power Networks Expands Digital Wide Area Restoration Abilities

Electric Utility T&D network gains efficiency with GE Digital's mission critical software

GE Digital's partnership with UK Power Networks is marked by firsts. This blog examines all that UK Power Networks and GE Digital have achieved with digital restoration capabilities.

Implementing Wide Area Restoration at UKPN | NextGen SCADA | GE DIgital

Implementing Wide Area Restoration at UK Power Networks

Hear James Allison, Control Systems SCADA Manager at UK Power Networks and Paul Westwater, Solution Consultant Manager at GE Digital's Grid Software, as they discuss UK Power Networks' Wide Area Restoration implementation success at the NextGen SCADA 2021 Virtual Conference.


Large scale outages happen less often that feeder outages, but when they do, they have a far greater impact on your customers. GE and UK Power Networks worked together to develop Wide Area Restoration, an algorithm that safely and quickly restores power when there is a loss of one or more primary substations. This session discusses how the solution was implemented and the benefits that were achieved.

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