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This project ended in April 2019 and is now closed.Dismiss

Project ENTIRE

Funding mechanismNetwork Innovation Allowance (NIA)
DurationJune 2016 - April 2019
Project expenditure1.8 million
Research areaCommercial
  • West Midlands
  • East Midlands

May 2019

The project has now closed. Final reports will be published shortly.

Show all updates

May 2019

The project has now closed. Final reports will be published shortly.


The trial will identify and address many of the key challenges a DNO is presented with as they develop DSR and other commercial service capabilities within what is a traditional engineering and asset management organization. In doing so WPD will create a roadmap for WPD’s other regions as well as other DNOs to assist development of a commercial service capability and deliver increased value to their customers. 

In order to start this transition, it is necessary to ensure that the data held regarding customers with generation or sufficient volumes of flexibility to affect the network operation, is accurate and comprehensive. It is therefore our intention to carry out a deep audit of customer assets within the trial zones and ensure that they are compliant with the current standards, while taking advantage of this interaction to engage with them to educate and where appropriate recruit for demand side management activity. 

By carrying out this project we will ensure that the underlying assumptions regarding our networks are correct and that we have increased visibility of dynamic users that will effect operational decisions as we migrate to local system operation. 


With the successful completion of previous trials that have sought to determine the principals of Demand Response and interaction with customers to modify behaviour, project Entire will progress the understanding of customers and their operational priorities. The trials have so far been limited in their scope with only small sample groups being engaged to offer quite limited functionality specifically for distribution constraint management. As the name ‘Entire’ suggests, we will now extend the previously limited scope to fully develop the skills, relationships and systems necessary for a DNO to provide a comprehensive DSR capability.


Building on the successes and the learning achieved during the commercial trials in Project FALCON, this project aims to develop and test comprehensive DSR capability to control generators and customer loads. Based on our previous small scale interventions using a very manually controlled DSR arrangement it has been proven that DSR can potentially provide a valuable tool in the management of transient or temporary network issues, particularly where the case is uncertain for a large capital investment. 

We are therefore seeking to develop our understanding and capability of DSR both in terms of advanced systems that would support BaU operation, but also the operational framework that would allow DNO DSR customers to participate more in wider DSR schemes operated by other parties, including National Grid. BaU use of DSR is likely to require regulatory approval and new policies from a governance perspective as well as new systems capabilities to operate and manage.

Finally, this is not an engineering based solution and therefore skills development in the commercial DSR markets will also feature as a key deliverable.

Areas of Work

The project will be focussed on two areas within the East Midlands that have been identified as requiring new GSPs (Grid Supply Point) which are very major capital works that will take several years to complete. WPD will use the new DSR capability to reduce peak winter demands and potential constraints on the existing GSPs which are becoming increasingly heavily loaded and reduce any operational risks associated with them.


We recently held a final dissemination webinar for the project. You can view the full webinar below, or click here for a copy of the webinar slides. 


  • DNOs have been running limited scope trials in order to assess the potential of DSR as an enhancement to existing network operations. These have to date not addressed the issue of customer participation in multiple DSR schemes and the need for a service provider that can aggregate and optimise capacity to meet the requirements of multiple schemes (SO, TO, DNO & Supplier) and maximise value to asset owners. If this is not addressed it is unlikely that DNOs will be in a position to recruit participants for the exclusive purpose of constraint management due to higher, or more frequent, income stream from non-DNO sources. 

    Prior DSR trials have so far been limited in their scope with only small sample groups being engaged to offer quite limited functionality specifically for distribution constraint management. As the name ‘Entire’ suggests, we will now extend the previously limited scope to fully develop and test the skills, relationships and systems necessary for a DNO to provide a comprehensive, commercially effective DSR capability. We will be doing this in areas within the WPD network that are may be due a significant capital upgrade but where the certainty of immediate need is absent. The project will also demonstrate how DSR can be used to defer capital investment which can sometimes take up to 10 years. 

    In order to achieve this, the ‘Entire’ project scope includes: 

    1. Recruit team / place contracts with partners;
    2. Develop connection policies / DSR contracts / technology and systems to facilitate services; 
    3. Stakeholder engagement and interaction including recruitment of DSR programme participants; 
    4. ‘Interaction with’ external DSR programmes to optimise commercial attractiveness of DNO DSR. Establishing direct relationships with the largest demand customers to understand their usage, flexibility and possible changes. This will be combined with advice around ASC (Approved Supply Capacity) and DSR to reduce their costs and introduce new revenue opportunities; 
    5. Identifying the skills gaps and organisational structure issues that are required to be addressed to operate a commercial DSR programme and ongoing migration to DSO; 
    6. Measuring direct impact of LV connected DSR on 33kV & 132kV infrastructure and establishing financial ‘use case’;
    7. Determination of data required for customer recruitment. This will include an assessment of the benefits (and any confidentiality barriers) from market availability of this data; and 
    8. Assessment of varying DSR offerings for constraint management.
  • The success criteria of the project is defined through successful delivery of the following:

    1. Network: Identify, audit and update all generation connected to the 11kV network within the trial zone(s). This should enable the return of any unused export capacity to network planners. Identify all connected generation above 150kW and identify where these may affect dynamic network operation. We will also interact with other WPD initiatives to advise where increased telemetry may be required to monitor active locations in the network and update future forecasting models. 
    2. Systems: Identify, develop and demonstrate new policies, processes and systems that are required in order for WPD to operate standalone DSR services. (monitor, control, meter and settle) 
    3. Operational: Identify new skills and roles that currently don’t exist within the DNO organisational structure and either train existing staff to address gap or create appropriate job specifications for future recruitment. 
    4. Commercial: Develop an economic business model for combined internal and external DSR service provision that demonstrates enhanced value to customers. This will integrate savings with additional opportunities that could generate new incremental revenues from third party DSR schemes and cost avoidance. Broadening the scope of what a DNO can do with DSR we would expect to achieve improved efficiencies for overall GB system operation. 
    5. Market: Agree a new set of conditions that allow and incentivise DNOs to operate DSR services that not only address internal constraint issues but incentivise the efficient use of these new capabilities to support overall GB System operation requirements. This will enable the use of customer assets to participate in external DSR schemes, including SO balancing services. 
    6. Knowledge: Document and share all key learning that is achieved in order that the results should be replicable across all UK Distribution Networks. 
  • The proposed trial scope includes many areas of new learning that are of value to DNOs UK wide. These are not limited just within a specific aspect such as the new technology, and are expected to deliver results in the following areas: 

    1. Furthering the work already done to determine the potential of commercial intervention alongside or as an alternative to engineering solutions;
    2. Establishing best practice methodology and new policies relating to engaging customers in active network management;
    3. Attitudinal analysis and performance assessment of participants within commercial techniques;
    4. Financial impact assessment of commercial techniques;
    5. Development of new related policies, processes and systems to support commercial techniques; and 
    6. Development and documentation of new systems to enable successful learning to be replicated. 
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