As part of the Capacity to Customers (C2C) trial we examined the benefits of an alternative operating model for existing extra high voltage (EHV) and high voltage (HV) networks, which were enhanced with modern network automation functionality. Specifically at HV, C2C closes the normally open point (NOP) between two adjacent HV circuits to form a closed HV ring and release the inherent ‘capacity to customers’.
We retrofitted existing infrastructure with low cost, proven remote control technology at key locations on the ring. This equipment allowed us to reconfigure the network in the event of a fault, which enabled us to rapidly re-energise customers’ supplies and minimise the need to activate demand and/or generation side response contracts.
We tested the effectiveness of the technology by installing monitoring equipment on the trial circuits, which collected real time data from the network. This allowed us to monitor actual performance and informed a series of network simulations and modelling exercises.
The fault management system architecture and process that we designed and embedded was effective during the trial. We successfully demonstrated automatic network segregation and fault sectionalising for faults occurring on trial networks. We also showed that C2C has the ability to prioritise and restore multiple managed customers through a detailed testing schedule. The direct real time management of customer loads during the trial was successfully proven through a suite of automation solutions comprising supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems and a range of EHV/HV/LV switches or moulded case circuit breakers (MCCB). These enabled us to control either all, or part of a customer’s load in accordance with the managed connection agreement.