CLASS project partners

CLASS project partners

Our partners are the leading experts in their fields, either in research, technology or customer engagement. Below is a list of our project partners with a summary of their experience and their role in CLASS.

The University of Manchester

The University of Manchester has a high quality research profile and is counted among the leading universities in the world. It is home to one of the UK's leading schools of electrical and electronic engineering for teaching and research.

Its electrical energy and power systems group has expertise in power system analysis, dynamics, power quality, and economics as well as specialist skills in power system protection and power system plant (utilising the largest university HV lab in the UK). The university’s well respected Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research support our carbon impact assessment work.

Role on project

To develop and enhance a matrix to model the relationship between demand and voltage and undertake four studies using monitoring data from the CLASS trials:

  1. Network modelling and analysis
  2. Voltage profile modelling study
  3. Asset health study
  4. Carbon impact assessment

Parsons Brinkerhoff

Parson Brinckerhoff has delivered complex projects in all aspects of power generation, transmission and distribution, and have particular expertise in the regulatory and restructuring aspects of the industry. The company works extensively with ourselves and the wider industry. Their knowledge and experience means they understand the engineering aspects of CLASS and the selection of primary substations. Their expertise ensures that the findings are credible and representative to the rest of the industry. In recent years the company has been involved in delivering key industry papers on planning and policy.

Role on project

To finalise the selection of primary substations sites for CLASS and to manage the consultation process around potential changes to the National Electricity Transmission System Security and Quality of Supply Standards (NETS SQSS) that may be recommended as a result of the learning from CLASS.

National Grid

National Grid owns and operates the high voltage electricity transmission system in England and Wales. In its role as National Electricity Transmission System Operator (NETSO), it also operates the Scottish high voltage transmission system and the offshore transmission networkin Great Britain. National Grid has been involved in a number of Innovation Funding Incentive (IFI) and Low Carbon Network (LCN) Fund projects, and plays a key role in developing electricity industry codes of practice and policy. It has also led a number of dissemination workshops on demand response.

Role on project

To commission the communications link between Electricity North West’s and National Grid’s control rooms, so that National Grid are provided with realtime visibility of the potential demand response available from CLASS; active involvement in the CLASS trials and supporting the work to understand which aspects of NETS SQSS may require amending as a result of the learning from CLASS. After the completion of CLASS, National Grid will continue to use some of the project equipment to collect data as part of a long term monitoring study to assess how the voltage/demand relationships changes over time.

Chiltern Power

Chiltern Power is a specialist consultancy focusing on the technical, commercial and regulatory aspects of power systems.

The company has been involved in several LCN Fund projects and has worked with the Energy Networks Association (ENA) in developing its future networks strategy and programme. John Scott of Chiltern Power wrote the original planning standard, PLM-ST-9 which defined the demand response of distribution networks. The details of PLM-ST-9 were subsumed within NETS SQSS.

Role on project

To lead the consultation process for developing the change proposals for amending NETS SQSS; to support the learning and dissemination of any changes or amendments.


Siemens is one of the world's leading technology vendors of power generation and energy delivery technologies with extensive experience in successfully providing and implementing smart solutions to distribution network operators (DNOs).

Role on project

To supply, install and configure the Autonomous Substation Controllers (ASCs) at primary substations, and ensure that the ASCs effectively interface with existing network infrastructure to deliver the CLASS functionalities on-site.

General Electric (GE)

GE is one of the world's leading technology vendors of power generation and energy delivery technologies. The company has extensive LCN Fund experience and was involved in the installation of the network management system (PowerOn Fusion) for our Capacity to Customers project.

Role on project

To configure and install the software, hardware and interface for the link between ours and National Grid’s control rooms; and to develop the CLASS dashboard that will provide a realtime display of the current demand and the potential demand response available (and which will be viewable by National Grid via the communication link).

Impact Research

Impact Research is a leading marketing and research organisation with extensive experience in customer engagement activities in the UK utilities industry. The company has successfully delivered research for a number of LCN Fund projects.

Role on project

To provide dedicated support to the CLASS project in developing and implementing engaging customer surveys and analysing the results.