SP Energy Networks implements new tech for electricity forecasting

Accurate predictions of power demand and generation are expected to result in increased awareness and reliability of the network

SP Energy Networks has implemented new forecasting software that is said to deliver accurate electricity demand and generation predictions.

It is working in partnership with consulting firm Sia Partners on the new approach, which combines historical network data, detailed weather data and artificial intelligence (AI) to predict the energy flowing on the electricity distribution network.

This provides a greater understanding of where, when and how much power is needed to match consumer demand as well as enables the distribution network operator to make informed decisions around green energy generation so no excess electricity goes to waste.

The accurate predictions result in increased awareness, reliability and maximises capacity on the distribution network.

SP Energy Networks said the forecasting platform has been instrumental in validating its emergency plans and procedures during periods of reduced consumer demand experienced recently when businesses were forced to shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Control Room Manager Grant McBeath added: “The software we’ve developed with Sia Partners has proven to be easily adaptable to not only deliver benefits for us now but sets the foundations for our transition to a Distribution System Operator where we’ll be managing a complex and ever-evolving network not least of all due to the expected increase in low carbon technologies such as electric vehicles and heat pumps.

“These technologies will be a huge part of the green recovery in a post-COVID world and in driving our net zero ambitions but will increase demand on the network. Sia Partners state of the art systems therefore allow our engineers to rely on artificial intelligence and data analytics to gain a better understanding of that impact and to then predict where investment should be made in advance.”

SP Energy Networks owns and manages overhead and underground power lines in Central and Southern Scotland as well as Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales and North Shropshire.

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