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Latest digital technology brings zero carbon future a step closer

We are harnessing the latest technology to build a digital network model, as part of our commitment to a zero carbon future.

Three wind turbines in a field against blue sky

The Integrated Network Model (INM), which has been devised in partnership with IT firm CGI, will help us plan for increases in the number of distributed renewable forms of generation, such as heat pumps and solar panels, connecting directly to the network. The INM will do this by using network data to provide a digital picture of our network at any given time.

Digitalisation of the energy system is essential if the UK is to make the transition to net zero carbon emissions, while keeping the lights on for customers.

We are already responding to changes in the way customers use the network by looking at ways to manage real-time energy flows and harness technology and innovation – like the INM – to make optimal use of the existing network capacity.

In this way, we can manage networks on a more local level and make better use of existing assets. We are already employing more flexible energy solutions – such as asking customers to use less energy at peak times – as an alternative to making network reinforcements.

Developments like these are crucial to ensure the network can meet the future demands and expectations of customers.

“We recognised that the transition to Distribution System Operator will be driven through engagement with external parties. Data is the key to enabling effective communication and having a digital representation of our physical network is a key pillar for addressing the Energy Data Taskforce recommendations,” said Graham Halladay, Operations Director. “Working with CGI and their INM solution has been an important step in this process.”

“WPD is once again leading the industry in addressing focus on data requirements to enable the decarbonised energy grid of the future,” said Tara McGeehan, CGI President of UK Operations. “We are excited to be partnered with them on this journey and to collaborate with them in preparing for the new future energy grid."

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