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Innovation Strategy

To view our full innovation strategy document click here

Role of Innovation within WPD

Innovation is core to our business strategy. We always seek to find better ways of working. We have adopted many innovative ideas into day to day operations that improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the way we deliver our services to customers. Our track record of innovation and change spans from the implementation of good innovative ad-hoc ideas from staff all the way through to formal innovation projects.

The objectives of WPD’s innovation are to: 

  • Develop new smart techniques that will accommodate increased load and generation at lower costs than conventional reinforcement; 
     
  • Improve performance against one or more of our core goals of safety, customer service, reliability, the environment or cost effectiveness; 
     
  • Ensure solutions are compatible with the existing network; 
     
  • Deliver solutions so that they become business as usual; 
     
  • Provide value for money

The way that we approach innovation is fundamental to delivering these objectives efficiently.

WPD’s Innovation Strategy is to: 

  • Actively involve staff from across the business in the generation of ideas, development of solutions and implementation of projects; 
     
  • Work with our stakeholders to understand their needs;
     
  • Make use of innovation incentives and funding provided by the Government, the regulator and other funding organisations; 
     
  • Use a small core team to coordinate innovation projects; 
     
  • Define clear objectives for each project so that delivery can be focused and progress can be tracked; 
     
  • Avoid theoretical research or innovation which does not have clear objectives; 
     
  • Incorporate innovative solutions into existing equipment and processes;
     
  • Share what we learn with other organisations and learn from others.

Our innovation projects shape how we are thinking about the future. We will continue to innovate and undertake new projects that will build upon what we have already learnt from the projects we and other DNOs have carried out. We set out within this Innovation Strategy the progress we have already made, the predicted output from the various projects currently being undertaken and the future projects planned.

Building on our Innovation Strategy we have produced our Innovation Forward Plan, which provides additional information on our three key focus and priority areas outlined in the strategy, specifically around the areas of future innovation projects.

Joint Electricity Innovation Strategy

As part of network licences, we are required to produce a joint electricity innovation strategy. The first strategy was published in 2018 and helped us to align our priorities, share thinking and avoid duplicated efforts.

The Energy Networks Association (ENA) has coordinated a revised strategy and sets out what our high-level ambitions and priorities are for network innovation. The strategy was co-created with our stakeholders and sets out how we want to work with you, the innovators, on new solutions that can help us deliver safe, resilient networks that facilitate the net zero transition and meet the needs of our customers.

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ED1 Business Plan

Our regulator Ofgem has confirmed fast track for WPD’s Business Plan as part of the RIIO-ED1 regulatory price review for the period 2015 to 2023. The decision promises settlement of the overall plan a year ahead of schedule. 

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Losses Strategy

The importance of reducing electrical losses on distribution networks is growing.  As electricity usage increases, the control of losses to an economic level will become a key feature of network operation.

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NIA Annual Report

The Network Innovation Allowance (NIA) was introduced by Ofgem for the RIIO-ED1 Distribution Price Control Review period which took effect on 1st April 2015 and will continue until 31st March 2023.

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