SSEN project looks at impact of local strategies on the energy system

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Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has secured £343,000 from Ofgem’s Network Innovation Allowance to deliver a project that will support knowledge-sharing between network operators and stakeholders in the energy system.

The Regional Energy System Optimisation Planning project will model the impact of local strategies on the energy system to ensure communities’ ambitions can be accommodated and economic growth delivered in a sustainable manner.

SSEN will work with local authorities and other stakeholders to identify the impact of their plans on the energy networks and the role of low carbon technologies in managing this impact.

The aim is to support delivery of local objectives and to identify the need for network investment.

SSEN supports local communities having a greater say in the development of the energy system that serves them and believes this will be critical in the transition to net zero.

The Regional Energy System Optimisation Planning project will support this by providing the tools to understand the multiple different local factors that will influence the transition.

This is ‘democratisation’ and is one of the four major trends that SSEN believes will shape the energy system over the next decade, alongside decarbonisation, decentralisation and digitalisation.

Delivering the UK and Scottish Governments’ ambitious decarbonisation targets will require substantial electrification of the UK’s transport and heat sectors.

SSEN is putting the building blocks in place to support coordination at a local level, to manage this transition in an efficient manner.

The model that is developed over the course of the project will seek to optimise outputs for local stakeholders, who will be trained in use of the model to help inform their decision making.

The Regional Energy System Optimisation Planning project is one of several SSEN projects that are part of the £7.5 million Strategic Partnership, established between SSEN, the Scottish Government, Transport Scotland and SP Energy Networks, that will deliver and improve coordination between electric vehicle charging infrastructure and electricity networks in Scotland.

SSEN’s other projects are examining the impact on the electricity network of increasing numbers of tourists driving electric vehicles and identifying and mapping the infrastructure needs for new charging points along the first-of-its-kind Electric A9.

The Regional Energy System Optimisation Planning project will begin in January 2020 and run for 18 months.