What is Smart Street?

What is Smart Street?

By combining innovative technology with existing assets, Smart Street aims to make networks and customers’ appliances perform more efficiently and make it easier to adopt low carbon technologies onto the electricity network.

As we become more reliant on electricity as our main source of power, our customers will use more new low carbon technologies such as electric vehicles, heat pumps and photovoltaics/solar panels.

These technologies tend to occur in clusters which has a dramatic effect on the electricity network. While electric vehicles and heat pumps could cause voltage to fall below statutory limits, new generation from photovoltaics exporting electricity to the network will have the opposite effect. If voltage levels fall outside statutory limits, the way our customers' appliances perform will be affected.

Using new controllable switching devices, called the Weezap and Lynx, integrated into our network management system, Smart Street will stabilise voltage and avoid it falling above or below statutory limits.

We will then reduce the supply voltage to our customers to an optimum level so that our networks and our customers’ appliances work more efficiently, a technique known as conservation voltage reduction.

Smart Street will demonstrate a step change in the co-ordination and operation of electricity networks in Great Britain and is the first demonstration of a fully centralised low voltage network management and automation system.

This innovative approach will enable low carbon technologies to be connected to the network more quickly, keep costs down for customers, reduce carbon emissions and help get the most from the existing network.

The project runs from January 2014 until April 2018.