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Telecontrol and system operation


Telecontrol of the electricity network is enabled via primary and secondary computer based real time supervisory control and data acquisition systems, referred to as SCADA.

Primary and secondary SCADA systems allow the control and monitoring of the 132kV, 33kV, 11kV and 6.6kV networks.

System control engineers

Full time system control engineers at the distribution system management centre (DSMC) in Manchester manage the networks.

  • The 132kV and 33kV networks are fully controlled from DSMC by the primary SCADA system.
  • The outgoing HV circuit breakers at primary substations are also controlled from DSMC by the SCADA system.
  • Selected switches on the rest of the 11kV and 6.6kV networks are monitored and controlled via the secondary SCADA system which has a separate set of central servers.

Supervisory control and data acquisition monitoring

Control of both the primary and secondary SCADA is implemented through a single graphical user interface in order to ensure a standard interface for the control engineer.

Primary SCADA monitoring is carried out through outstations and at all grid and primary substations.

Grid and primary substations communicate with the central servers over a mixture of copper pilots, optical fibre and telemetry scanning radio.

The secondary SCADA system:

  • controls the urban and rural 11kV and 6.6kV network;
  • is based on the RTUs communicating with the central servers over radio networks.

Control and Operation

The electricity distribution network is controlled and managed from the centralised distribution system management centre (DSMC), from which all operations on the high voltage system are co-ordinated.

A system of field control is sometimes adopted for management of a small section of the network where work is being carried out.

Authorisation to operate the distribution network is only given after adequate training and assessment.

Are you a priority customer?

We appreciate that some customers have additional requirements and may have circumstances where a priority service is needed for a variety of reasons.

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Knowledge centre

Find answers to questions about Electricity North West, including details on electricity connections, power cuts and general enquiries

Check out frequently asked questions and our user guides.

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Major incident

Engineers are working to restore power to properties after severe flooding in Lancashire and Rochdale.

We are doing everything we can to restore power and we'll update you regularly on our news section and TwitterFor emergencies, please call us on 0800 195 4141.