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Future projects

We have now released our NIA call 

Following the success of our Network Innovation Allowance (NIA) call last year, which led to the registration of eight third party projects, we are now welcoming third party projects proposals to be funded through the NIA mechanism. In order for a project to qualify for NIA funding it must be suitably innovative that WPD or another Distribution Network Operator (DNO) would not perform it in its course of business due to the commercial, technical, operational or regulatory risks associated with the activity.

We are looking for project proposals based on the following four challenges, Robot Trades, On-street EV Charging, Advanced Fault Level Monitor and Public Charging Infrastructure, which has been taken from our latest Innovation Strategy.

We are looking for projects ranging in value from £100k to £2.5m and for the submitting party to ensure they include for fully managing and delivering the project proposed.
Please complete this Google Form by the 1st March 2019 at 12pm to have your project proposal considered.

If any further information is required to support the completion of this form please email: wpdinnovation@westernpower.co.uk 


NIA 2019 Call Project Areas 

Robot Trades

A large part of our business is centred on staff operating, maintaining and repairing our physical assets to ensure the supplies to customers is as reliable as possible. The repairing of faults and the physical locating of faults is often a time consuming and physical exercise.

This project will explore the capabilities of robots to identify faults on the LV network, expose the faulted cable and prepare the cable to be repaired. This will have benefits to both the safety of the operational staff from locating and exposing faulted assets and will also reduce the time taken for customers supplies to be reconnected.

Power Electronic Fault Level Monitor

As the connection of distribution generation on the HV network continues to increase so too does the variability of the fault level on the system, which is currently difficult to understand in real-time.

Building on the developments of through the FlexDGrid project, where a mechanical FLM device was developed and tested, this project will focus on the use of power electronic technologies to develop a small form factor, accurate FLM, which can be quickly installed and is portable to be re-deployable as the needs of the network change.

On-street EV Charging

As the proliferation of EVs continues the need for additional charging solutions will intensify. To date EV charging has centred on a car parking environment or within driveways of homes. A great number of the current housing stock does not have driveways and this project will investigate a solution to this challenge.

The solution will centre on the development of new or utilisation of existing, in a different format, technology to provide the dense power requirements of EV charging in a small form factor that makes it suitable and applicable for installation on pavements, grass verges etc. for the purpose of on-street charging.

Public Charging Infrastructure

The need for public transportation, such as buses and taxis, to transition to electric from traditional fuel sources means that dense public vehicle charging infrastructure is required.

How a large number of public vehicles are suitably charged in an area or areas of a town and city to facilitate the goals of moving to all-electric vehicles is to be explored. This project should consider the balance between infrastructure investment and charging models and mechanisms to optimise the investment and utilisation of assets.