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What is CLASS?

In 2012 Electricity North West was granted £9 million from the Low Carbon Network Fund for the CLASS project.

CLASS (Customer Load Active System Services) will trial an innovative approach which aims to increase the capacity of the electricity network. It’s a low-cost solution which uses voltage control to manage electricity consumption at peak times, while still providing customers with the same great service.

To adjust voltage we will install smart voltage control in major substations linked to our control centre. This will automatically stabilise the network and keep voltages at safe levels. An advanced network management system will link our control centre to the National Grid control centre.

The ability to manage peak demand in this way could provide us with a useful tool to help meet the increasing demand for electricity and brings a number of other advantages:

  • Makes it easier to adopt low carbon technologies onto the electricity network such as wind and solar power
  • Avoids or defers the cost and disruption of expanding our network of overhead lines, underground cables and substations
  • Reduces costs for all electricity customers
  • Can be rolled out on a national level.

The project will run until September 2015.

Engaging with our customers

One of the key aims of CLASS is that customers in the trial areas should not notice any adverse effects on their electricity supply when the voltage control is applied.

To test this we will carry out a range of surveys to find out if customers have noticed a difference.

We will also raise awareness of the project with all our customers using our website, leaflets and social media to ensure you are kept up-to-date.

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