New digitalisation strategy will aid delivery of net zero
We’ve launched our digitalisation strategy as part of our ongoing commitment to help deliver net zero.
The strategy outlines how we’re using the latest digital technologies and data innovations to transform the way we develop and operate the network, delivering faster decarbonisation through greater network efficiency and flexibility, more responsive customer service, and lower energy bills for customers.
We’re working to improve data management, increase network insight and presume data open. In this way, we hope to benefit customers, deliver insight for network capacity, and improve connection planning and new service propositions.
Digitalisation will also be a key tool in maximising efficiency and flexibility, by allowing for the connection of more low carbon technologies such as distributed generation, electric vehicle (EV) charging hubs and electrified heating while minimising the need for network reinforcement. This is a win-win for customers, as enhanced digitalisation will help to deliver faster decarbonisation and a more responsive network while keeping energy bills down.
Our commitment to better data collection and open sharing will also empower third party innovators to develop dynamic new solutions to energy challenges. These solutions are expected to help tackle fuel poverty, support local energy cooperatives, and empower customers with the information and guidance to be more energy-efficient.
Phil Swift, Chief Executive, WPD, said: “The digitalisation of the UK’s energy systems is in the interest of all. Not only will this help us to empower our customers by providing greater information and insights, it will also be key to achieving a modern decarbonised and decentralised energy system. To deliver net zero we will have to increasingly make the most of the infrastructure we already have. Digitalising the network will play a key role in this, driving greater efficiency while creating new opportunities and innovations for our customers.
“To digitalise the business at speed, we are continuing to develop our workforce and skills. We have already increased the number of Telecoms and Control Systems apprentices to ensure we have the right expertise to deliver our ambitions, and we continue to assess our needs to guide investment in the right training and skills to deliver for our customers.”
We’re kick starting the strategy’s implementation with several projects over the coming months which will develop the foundations for digitalisation. These include developing robust data governance, an integrated network model, and creating a data catalogue to provide centralised data access for various parts of the business. The release of the first wave of WPD data using the Common Information Model is already providing public access to key asset information across the network.
Jonathan Berry, DSO Digitalisation & Data Manager at WPD, said: “WPD is committed to delivering tangible and impactful change through our digitalisation programme. To date, the modernisation of the energy industry has been hindered by a lack of valuable data, but our roadmap sets out our long-term vision and approach to ensure that we capture, manage and share our data to enable a net-zero transition, and continue to deliver excellent customer service, reliability, and value for money.
“As we have seen in other sectors, digitalisation can spur a new era of innovation that brings about unforeseen economic opportunities and societal benefits. Digitalising our electricity networks will undoubtedly result in spill overs into other sectors, benefiting our customers and stakeholders.”
For more on our digitalisation strategy - www.westernpower.co.uk/smarter-networks/digitalisation-and-data/digitalisation-strategy
- DSO/Smart Networks