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ETI announces renewable energy networks projects in the UK

The UK Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is launching two projects to identify the challenges and solutions of collecting and distributing electricity from renewable sources in the UK

The development and installation of large offshore renewable energy farms such as wind, wave and tidal, off the coast of the UK raises a number of challenges. These include the collection of electrical energy offshore from individual and multiple renewable energy farms, the transportation of bulk electrical energy generated by these offshore farms to the UK shoreline and the connection and integration of these offshore renewable energy farms into the onshore power system, the ETI says.

The Offshore Connection project will examine the specific challenges and opportunities arising from the connection of offshore renewable energy to the UK grid system and consider the impact of large-scale offshore development.

It will also look at electrical system designs and control strategies that could be developed to collect, manage and transmit renewable energy back to shore and will identify and assess innovative technology solutions to these issues and will quantify their benefits.

The project will last approximately 7 months and will be carried out by consultants Sinclair Knight Merz, on behalf of the ETI.

Onshore challenge

The existing onshore transmission and distribution system has little spare capacity to cope with widespread changes in generation patterns and their changing performance characteristics as seen with the introduction of more renewable energy sources.

The Network Capacity project will therefore identify and assess new technology solutions that could enhance transmission and distribution capacity in the UK. It will assess the feasibility and quantify the benefits of using new approaches and technologies to provide improved management of power flows and increased capacity, enabling the increasing deployment of renewable energy sources in the UK, the ETI explains.

This project will also last approximately 7 months and will be carried out by consultants Mott MacDonald, on behalf of the ETI.

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