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We have published the first Distribution System Operability Framework (DSOF), an assessment of technical issues facing Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) as they become Distribution System Operators (DSOs). We are actively looking for future technical and commercial issues which could impair our ability to operate and maintain our networks efficiently whilst developing capacity for new connections. Raising awareness of these issues will enable us to seek new solutions and manage them efficiently and cost effectively.

Publishing insights on a variety of different topics affecting electrical networks will help the industry raise the profile of these technical issues. We will share our learning and discussions with other DNOs and Independent Distribution Network Operators (IDNOs), with a particular focus on collaboration through the ENA Open Networks programme.

Issues affecting electrical distribution networks can also affect electricity transmission networks and other energy vectors. We will work with National Grid as the GB System Operator, and other parties affected by these issues to further understand the impacts as they develop. As we move towards becoming a DSO, we will increasingly work with customers to access resources and services that they may have at their disposal and which may benefit the network. Opening this dialogue at an early stage will enable us to work with customers to economically provide whole system solutions as they develop future Distribution Energy Resources (DER).

In the DSOF we consider a range of issues from network design through to real-time network operation. A key theme throughout the DSOF is the growing role of data capture and analysis in distribution system operation. The last ten years have seen unprecedented developments in distribution networks. The growth of distribution-connected generation has driven a major shift in Great Britain’s generation mix towards renewables. Meanwhile, advances in control systems and power electronics are providing us with alternatives to conventional reinforcement when managing demand growth and providing new connections.

In the 2018 refresh of the DSOF, we have reconfigured the document into standalone articles for each of the DSOF topics. The introduction, background and supplementary information explains the purpose and key themes of the DSOF, including a master glossary and diagram key. Each of the DSOF articles can be found using the links in the table below:

DSOF Topic
Introduction, background and supplementary information  
Network modelling and Analysis
Network Monitoring and Visibility 
Data and Forecasting
Arc Suppression Coils 
Low Frequency Demand Disconnection
Flexibility Services

Power Quality
Loss of Mains Protection **NEW FOR 2018** √ 

On Thursday 25th January 2018 we held a DSOF Roundtable Sessions and NIA Project Call Event.

The first half of the event allowed us to give an insight into our Network Strategy team with an overview of the Distribution System Operability Framework (DSOF) and its aims and objectives.

We presented on three DSOF topics: Network Monitoring, Fault Level Management and Flexibility. Each followed by roundtable discussions where there was an opportunity to feedback on our approaches.
The second half of the event included an introduction to our Innovation Strategy and an overview of our forthcoming NIA call for proposals, including the application process and next steps.

?The presentation slides from the event can be found here.