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Smart grid project planned for Cambridgeshire, UK

A 700 km2 smart grid project is planned for Cambridgeshire, UK, by UK Power Networks.

By Kari Williamson

The £9.7 million Flexible Plug and Play (FFP) Low Carbon Networks project, which is funded under Ofgem's Low Carbon Network Fund, will connect and manage onshore wind power using smart grid solutions run over an IPv6-based communications network.

The smart grid project aims to trial technical and commercial solutions and develop an investment modelling tool, that can serve as a blue print for smart grid projects elsewhere.

The IPv6-based radio frequency network infrastructure, software and service will be provided by Silver Spring Networks, and the secure network by Cable&Wireless Worldwide.

“The renewable energy targets set by government are leading significant changes in the sources of eneryg generation, and how intermittent sources of generation are brought on stream and effectively managed. IP-based communications networks can overlay the existing grid reducing the structural burden of deploying the key information they need to effectively manage the distribution system,” says Patrick Ravazet, Director of Utilities and Smart Grid for Cable&Wireless Worldwide.

James Pace, Managing Director UK & Ireland for Silver Springs Networks, adds: “Bringing renewables online quickly and effectively has never been more important. With UK Power Network's approach, intermittent sources of generation can be brought to bear rapidly, avoiding or deferring the cost of reinforcing the physical distribution network, all the while maintaining reliability, as such, Silver Spring is excited to be playing such a key role in this forward-looking project.”

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