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Project Code/Version No
Low Carbon Networks Fund
Full Submission Pro-forma
Section 1: Project Summary
1.1 Project title
1.2 Funding DNO
1.3 Project Summary
1.4 Funding
1.5 List of Project Partners, External Funders and Project Supporters
1.6 Timescale
Project Start Date Project End Date
1.7 Project Manager contact details
Contact name & Job title
Email Address
Telephone Number
Contact Address
External Funding (£k)DNO extra contribution (k)
Second Tier Funding request (£k)
ENWLT204/01
Customer Load Active System Services (CLASS)
Electricity North West Limited (Electricity North West)
Is there an opportunity for DNOs to operate their networks more flexibly, by using dynamic voltage control
technologies to increase asset utilisation and power system flexibility?
The CLASS Project will show how a DNO could use innovative voltage management to provide new demand
response and utilise it to provide added value for customers. At the heart of CLASS is the natural
relationship between voltage and customer demand. CLASS will demonstrate how this relationship can be
used in a low cost, rapidly deployable Solution that can provide a range of demand response capabilities and
network voltage regulation services. The Trials will demonstrate that the Solution can be applied to reduce
peak network demands and to provide a low cost means of voltage management on networks with high
volumes of distributed generation (DG). In addition at GB level it provides a new mechanism for frequency
management and voltage control to support the System Operator. CLASS is highly transferable and can be
readily implemented by all DNOs. The Project will also deliver 4 key outputs: the methodology to allow the
Solution to be deployed across GB; an understanding of the changing relationship between voltage and
demand; confirmation that the techniques do not affect customers or compromise a DNO's existing demand
control obligations; and assurance that there is no detrimental effect on asset health. CLASS has the
potential to defer £90 million of future distribution network reinforcements and provide an attractive
alternative to the frequency control and reactive power services offered by traditional sources.
Impact Research - Customer Engagement & Survey
Siemens UK Ltd, General Electric UK Ltd/ Parsons Brinckerhoff Ltd - Technical Support
National Grid - ICCP installation, Trials and NETS SQSS Change Proposal
Chiltern Power - NETS SQSS Change Proposal
The University of Manchester - Data capture/ analysis, modelling and dissemination
Tyndall Centre for Climate Change - Carbon impact assessment
January 2013
September 2015
Steve Cox, Head of Future Networks
steve.cox@enwl.co.uk
01925 846827
Electricity North West Limited
Network Strategy
304 Bridgewater place
Birchwood Park
Warrington
WA3 6XG
£ 910
£7 174
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Section 2: Project Description
ENWLT204/01
The CLASS Project proposes a novel, low risk way of operating existing assets to increase the flexibility and
use of the distribution network deriving significant benefits for DNO customers
Aims and Objectives
The problem/challenge which needs to be resolved in order to facilitate the low carbon future
As GB moves to a low carbon future, electricity demand and the level of renewable and low carbon
generation is expected to increase significantly. This decarbonisation pathway will introduce a number of key
challenges for the operators of GB electricity networks with the potential to necessitate expensive capital
investments.
1. High Peak Demands
The expected doubling of the demand for electricity by 2050 will progressively erode existing network
capacity at Grid and Primary substations. The adoption of Low Carbon Technologies (LCT) by customers will
occur at different rates across the network with some groups exhibiting a very rapid rise in demand and
others a more gradual increase. Part of this increase will be offset by customer energy efficiency measures
and the connection of additional low carbon Distributed Generation (DG). When responding to such changes
the DNO needs to assess if the increase is permanent and warrants immediate intervention or will be
eventually offset by DG so that network reinforcement can be avoided or delayed. The rate of apparent
demand increase can also be aggravated by cold weather and other short term factors. To ensure that only
efficient investments are made (for reinforcement, Demand Side Response (DSR) etc), the DNO needs
enhanced flexibility to both manage the immediate rise in peak demand, without unacceptably constraining
customer activity and to retain optionality in its response for as long as possible. In order to defer or avoid
potentially expensive interventions, a new technique is required to enable short term rapid rises in peak
demand to be adequately managed and met using existing assets.
2. Voltage Control
A new challenge faced by all network operators is managing the unacceptably high voltages that can occur
on networks during periods when high DG output coincides with low local demand. Ever improving energy
efficiency measures, including decreasing lighting loads overnight, have significantly exacerbated this
problem in recent years. A low cost and quickly deployable alternative to traditional expensive asset
solutions used to mitigate these excessive voltages is needed.
3. Excess Generation
As the volume of renewable generation increases there is an increasing probability that the available
generation within a network may exceed the demand or network capacity leading to the need to constrain
the generation output. This constraint acts to decrease the efficiency of the generation and hence drive up
costs to customers. A new technique is required that minimises the constraint of renewable sources such as
wind and solar.
4. Response and Reserve
In the period out to 2050, the generation mix in the UK is expected to change significantly from that of
today, with increased amounts of low inertia intermittent generation connected to the system along with
large nuclear generating units that will increase the largest secured generation loss from 1 320 MW to 1 800
MW. As a consequence there will be an increased need to access system reserves to maintain overall system
stability to help avoid cascade tripping events. Owing to the high financial and carbon cost of conventional
spinning reserve, fast acting and flexible demand management for frequency, and system balancing is
expected to become an increasingly important part of future system operation. This is of particular benefit
for local power island balancing within a DNO network, and also offers potential advantages for future
Distributed System Operator (DSO) network management.
To be fully cost-effective, solutions may span traditional company boundaries. The CLASS Method is a case
in point and this proposal identifies where this arises and addresses equitable treatment for distribution
consumers.
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The CLASS Method being trialled to solve the Problem
CLASS is a highly innovative, easily implemented and low cost solution which enables DNOs to deliver
significant savings to customers using existing assets to address the above issues. Specifically CLASS will
help DNOs to enable customer LCT connections whilst managing peak loads on the network, and timing
DNO's eventual interventions efficiently. It will also provide a solution to network voltage control problems
on the entire GB network, assist in reducing the requirement to constrain off low carbon generators for
network balancing and provide a low cost and effective system stability response facility.
The key benefits of CLASS are expected to include:
Acceleration of the decarbonisation of the UK energy supply;
Reduction in the DNOs requirements for substation reinforcement by reducing system peaks.
Provide rapid distribution network peak loading relief (of limited duration) bridging the operational time
period needed until other forms of demand side response (eg via aggregators) or network
reconfiguration actions come into effect in real time
Boost demand in DG dominated DNO networks and hence balance the network flows thereby maximising
the output of DG for a given network capacity;
Provision of frequency control at a fraction of current cost & significant reduction in the need and
therefore cost for carbon based spinning reserve;
Reduction in costs of the ancillary services market borne by all electricity customers.
These benefits can be realised without compromising the quality of supply to customers or impacting the
DNOs ability to meet existing demand control obligations.
There are three key themes which comprise CLASS:
Demand reduction at time of system peak
The ability to actively reduce peak network demand in a manner undetectable by customers has the
potential to significantly reduce the need for network reinforcement and therefore the cost borne by
customers. Critically peak demand management using CLASS allows DNOs to manage demands whilst future
market mechanisms, including smart meter demand signals and the wider DSR market evolve and mature in
their effectiveness to elicit a customer demand response. CLASS also retains optionality for networks to
reach new self-balancing points using DG and efficiency measures rather than reinforcement. There are two
distinct advantages to demand reduction using CLASS during periods of demand peaks:
1. Where in a given network demand rises quickly as is forecast to be the case during the latter half of
RIIO-ED1 and during ED2, CLASS provides a low cost, quickly deployed peak demand reduction
technique during the period during which other smart grid techniques such as storage, network meshing
and active network management are developed, perfected and deployed.
2. Where a network approaches its capacity limit but demand may or may not exceed capacity in the
medium term, CLASS allows deferment of reinforcement until such time as the required capacity is
clearly known to be an issue. CLASS potentially allows deferment of costly decisions in marginal
situations against a highly uncertain future until the situation becomes clearer.
Voltage Control
The operation of existing Primary transformers in a staggered tap configuration provides a highly flexible
and effective means of absorbing reactive power within a network hence controlling potentially unacceptable
over-voltages. The method can deliver reactive power requirements quickly in real time, in a highly
configurable and flexible manner, so as to meet the needs of both the DNO and the GB System Operator
(NETSO). Traditional mitigation measures include installation of reactive compensation assets such as
reactors, constraint payments to out-of-merit generation for VAr support and switching out of long lines to
reduce capacitive gain. This problem of voltage regulation will progressively worsen as system power factor
is further eroded by non- linear loads and by high volumes of non-synchronous DG such as solar PV.
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Technology Explanation
The electrical demand (by which we mean the power consumed at any point in time as measured in kilo
Watts (kW) or Amps) of a resistive load is proportional to the square of the voltage. As voltage increases the
kW demand increases and vice versa. The effect of any change in voltage is dependent on the magnitude of
that change - for example a 2% increase/decrease in the voltage in the home would make a kettle boil
approximately 4% (or about 8 seconds!) faster or slower. Importantly the total energy consumed by a given
load such as a kettle does not change and hence the cost to the customer of boiling the kettle does not
change rather it just boils very slightly slower or faster. The exact relationship between network demand
and voltage depends on the type of loads installed at customers' premises; for example the demand of
electronic devices such as an LED TV is not directly proportional to voltage unlike a kettle. Understanding
the relationship between voltage and demand in a given network allows the network operator to manage the
voltage in such a manner as to bring about small changes in demand when needed. When applied to large
networks or the entire GB network these small changes in the demand of customer appliances aggregate to
become very significant, for example a 2% reduction in voltage to customers across the GB network could
provide a 2-3% reduction in national demand which is equal to the output of a large nuclear power station.
Equally a boost of 1-2% would provide an increase in demand sufficient to absorb the output of several
large wind farms. CLASS allows this response to be used both quickly and effectively across groups of any
size and can be initiated automatically or on demand by the network operator when needed.
Will customers notice? In a DNO network the system voltage is regulated by altering the tap position of
Primary transformers. Each tap changes the voltage by about 1.5%, with a typical tap range of about 20%
available on each transformer. A pair of transformers feeding say 20,000 customers will tap up and down
typically between 2-20 times every day during the course of normal operation. The resultant changes to
voltage are so small as not to be noticeable by customers.
If a pair of transformers feeding a group of customers are operated at different tap positions, ie with
“staggered taps”, a circulating current is introduced around the pair. The circulating current decreases the
network power factor and effectively absorbs reactive power from the upstream network. The consequential
increase in reactive demand reduces network voltages higher up in the grid but leaves customer voltages
unaffected. This technique is highly effective in controlling potential unacceptable high voltages on the 33,
132, 275 and 400kV networks.
This paired arrangement for Primary transformers can also be utilised to deliver a very fast demand
response which can be used to automatically balance a network in the event of loss of a large generation in
feed. For example, if one of the pair is disconnected, supplies are still maintained to all customers in the
group by the second transformer but the voltage supplied to the group will instantaneously reduce by
between 4 - 8% triggering a similar instantaneous demand reduction in the group. When aggregated
across many substations, this response is sufficiently large to counteract the loss of a major power station.
CLASS allows this response to be delivered in a coordinated and controlled manner which meets the needs
of the DNO for network balancing and meets the criteria for primary and secondary frequency response set
by the NETSO.
Section OC 6 of the Grid Code allows National Grid to instruct DNOs to reduce demand by up to 20% in four
stages, or under certain circumstances up to 40% in eight stages. This is normally only used under extreme
conditions when all available sources of reserve generation have been exhausted and the only option
available to balance the system is to reduce demand. Demand reduction can be achieved either through
voltage reduction or direct disconnection of loads. It has historically been assumed that the first two stages
can be achieved through voltage reductions with a 3% voltage reduction providing a 5% demand reduction
and a 6% reduction (maximum allowable under the NETS SQSS) providing a 10% demand reduction.
Building upon existing infrastructure deployed by DNOs to meet these demand reduction requirements,
CLASS aims to show that at least a 1.5% voltage change from transformer tap operation will deliver a
predictable and controlled demand response which when aggregated at a point in a network is adequate for
demand management, whether locally or nationally whilst at the same time not compromising the DNOs
ability to continue to meets its demand reduction obligations or impacting on the quality of supply to
customers.
To quantify and understand the effect of applying the above voltage regulation techniques it is proposed to
supplement Electricity North West's existing network monitoring equipment at various tactical locations
across the Trial networks, including health monitoring equipment on the tap changers of Primary
transformers. This quantification exercise will cover all load groups types (city centre - rural) and will
provide a valuable prediction tool for determining demand voltage relationships for the GB network.
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Customer Effects
To demonstrate customers are not adversely affected by the changes in voltage described above, CLASS will
survey customers through the Trial period. Prior to engaging customers Electricity North West will use the
learning from all existing LCN Funded projects on their customer engagement experiences and use their
learning to shape our approach. Given that the small variations in voltage used by the Method are already
routinely experienced by customers many times each day, Electricity North West do not expect customers to
be negatively affected at all. The network monitoring equipment will quantify the extent of any existing and
future affects.
The CLASS Trials being undertaken to test that the CLASS Method works
The CLASS Method will determine that the application of innovative techniques to existing assets will deliver
a flexible demand response to help address the key network challenges highlighted above. To ensure that
Trials deliver the results and learning that is transferable to all UK DNOs, the CLASS Method will be trialled
on 60 Primary substations across its network, representing 17% of the Electricity North West's total network
and serving around 350 000 customers; approximately 348 500 domestic and 1 500 commercial customers.
The Project will undertake three main Trials; described in detail below, with a high level summary shown in
tabular form in Table 1:
Trial 1 will investigate the voltage / demand relationship from the normal increment and decrement of
system voltage at Primary substations across an annual period. The outcome from this Trial is a voltage /
demand relationship matrix, developed by The University of Manchester, which describes mathematically the
relationship for every half-hour in a year for each group type. Additionally this work will also provide a
simplified guidance for practical application in updating standards and power system modelling assumptions.
Trial 2 will investigate the viability of each of the proposed CLASS techniques in delivering a demand
response, specifically:
Demand Response for Peak Reduction at Primary substations - The test regime will investigate the use
of a demand response, initiated by a voltage reduction, to manage the peak demand at a Primary
substation. The outcome of this Trial is the confirmation that a demand response provided at the peak
demand of a Primary substation (normally in winter) can defer network reinforcement;
Demand Response for Frequency Response 1 support to NETSO - The test regime will investigate the
use of a low frequency relay to switch out one transformer of a standard Primary substation and quantify
the demand response. The outcome of this Trial is confirmation that a very fast demand response (ie
<0.5 seconds) can be provided to meet the NETSO criteria for use by the DNO or NETSO;
Demand Response for Frequency Response 2 support to NETSO - The test regime will investigate the use
of demand response as a means of providing fast frequency response to the NETSO through the lowering
of a Primary Substations taps. The outcome of this Trial is confirmation that a fast demand response (ie
<10 seconds) can be provided to NETSO or DNO.
Trial 3 will investigate the viability of the tap staggering technique for the provision of reactive power
services (ie voltage regulation) to NETSO and DNO. The test regime will initiate the offsetting of the tap
positions across the pair of Primary transformers and will quantify the change in power factor (ie the
reactive power absorbed) at each Primary substation. The outcome of this Trial is the confirmation that a
reactive power absorption service can be provided and to quantify the impact on the distribution network in
terms of losses and network loading and the aggregate impact of this on the transmission network for
voltage stabilisation.
During all the Trials, the health of Primary transformers and tap changers will be monitored, which together
with academic research will help to understand whether the technique has a material and detrimental impact
on these assets.
The CLASS Solution which will be enabled by solving the Problem
The CLASS Solution is a novel method to exploit existing assets and is both a quick to implement and a cost
effective alternative to existing carbon intensive solutions. Applying the technique to reduce the peak
demand at a Primary substation can produce a time extension of between one and three years; versus the
traditional reinforcement of a Primary substation which typically costs on average £560 000 and takes 1.1
years. In addition the technique defers 58 tC0
2
eq per Primary substation.
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Scaling this up to the GB level the CLASS Solution is expected to defer the equivalent of building new 40
Primary substations, which would cost the customer £75.9 million using traditional reinforcement
techniques, leading to a total asset carbon deferral of 16 266 tC0
2
eq.
Throughout the CLASS Project a number of outputs will be generated. The sharing of these outputs will
allow any other DNO to quickly and effectively implement the CLASS Solution. The key outputs from the
Project are:
1. Installation and Application Methodologies: The Project will publish the site selection methodology for
the Trial sites and a detailed installation methodology for the retrofit of equipment at a typical GB
Primary substation.
2. Voltage Regulation Scheme: CLASS will publish the data captured in the Trials and deliver a report that
assesses the capability of delivering demand response and how this can be used by network operators.
This will include a detailed characterisation of each Primary Substation, to the load and customer mix
composition on the selected Primary network.
3. Voltage/ Demand Relationship Matrix: The Trials will develop a voltage/ demand relationship matrix for
application in a new CLASS Dashboard, which will display the real-time demand response capability.
4. Asset Health Study: The Project will deliver the results of the study on the change in asset health from
the application of the new dynamic voltage regulation techniques.
5. Customer engagement and feedback: CLASS will describe the method for attracting and engaging
customers in the Trial and detail their feedback, confirming that customers are not affected.
6. Change proposals for planning standard: The Project will deliver changes proposals to update the
existing planning standard on the demand response available from distribution networks.
7. Long Term Monitoring test bed: At the end of CLASS rather than decommission the monitoring
equipment National Grid has agreed to fund its on-going maintenance, data collection and analysis as
part of a published Long Term Monitoring Study on the changing demand response of networks.
Technical Description of Project
The CLASS Project demonstrates innovation through the novel configuration and application of existing off-
the-shelf voltage control equipment previously untested in GB which is used to augment existing voltage
control infrastructure to provide new functionality.
The new Voltage Controllers will be installed at the Primary substation and will communicate with Electricity
North West's Control Room Management System (CRMS) via existing SCADA infrastructure. CRMS will in
turn pass on the relevant information to the version of GE's PowerOn Fusion recently installed, under the
previously funded Capacity to Customers Project. A new CLASS Dashboard, developed within PowerOn
Fusion, will display in real-time the forecast demand response capability and provide Electricity North West
Control Engineers with the ability to apply, and see the results of, the dynamic voltage control techniques.
This will be shared / viewed by National Grid's Electricity National Control Centre (ENCC) via a newly
established and separately funded Inter-Control Centre Communications Protocol (ICCP) link. In order to
allow for the quantification of the effects and benefits of CLASS, the Project will deploy appropriate levels of
representative network monitoring alongside existing monitoring
The basic premise of CLASS is delivery of the following critical demand response services: Demand
Reduction/Boost, Voltage Control, and Demand reduction at time of system peak. CLASS will be delivered by
a combination of local automatic action and central despatch.
Local Control
The local automatic action will be via the operation of frequency sensitive relays which, subject to the
system frequency, will operate appropriate control equipment associated with nominated Primary
transformers to deliver both fast primary frequency and secondary frequency response. The frequency
sensitive relay is expected to interface directly with the Voltage Controller (VC). The Voltage Controller will
in turn initiate one of two automatic actions subject to the magnitude of the frequency variation:
1. Disconnection of one of a pair of Primary substation transformers via use of an interposing relay. There
may be cases where the Voltage Controller will not initiate the trip owing to active constraints such as
network outages, high loads or tap range limitations; and
2. Tapping of the transformer tap changers to reduce/increase demand as a means of providing secondary
frequency response.
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Central Despatch
The central despatch will initiate CLASS via ENWL's existing SCADA infrastructure. Primary substation
remote terminal units (RTUs) will be configured to act as the interface between the central systems and the
newly deployed Voltage Controllers. Central despatch will be used to initiate the following demand response
actions:
1. Demand Reduction/Boost for the purpose of generation/demand balancing or wind following;
2. Tap stagger as a means of providing reactive power absorption to reduce system voltages; and
3. Demand reduction at time of system peak.
The key elements of the end to end CLASS architecture are identified in Figure 1 and detailed further below.
Voltage Controllers
The proposed architecture introduces an autonomous Voltage Controller at the Primary substation which is
configured with the necessary control logic. The Voltage Controllers will be interfaced with the substations
existing Automatic Voltage Control (AVC) scheme. In some instance this may necessitate the installation of
replacement AVC hardware. The underlying functionality of the AVC scheme will remain unchanged but will
also respond to control tap change operation when prompted to do so by the Voltage Controller. The
installation and commissioning of the Siemens autonomous Voltage Controller is a key part of the Project
and as such a small number of site inspections have taken place to identify the principal interfacing
decisions to be made. These initial site inspections have assisted in the preparation of costs and their
findings have informed the site selection methodology.
CLASS Dashboard
CLASS will develop a Dashboard hosted within the PowerOn Fusion (POF) Network Management System
(NMS) that displays the real-time demand response within a defined region. This innovative real-time
display will be developed in conjunction with GE Digital Energy and will take real-time demand data
available within CRMS and calculate the expected demand response available based upon the relationship
between voltage and demand. During the Trials the forecast voltage/ demand relationship will be
characterised by The University of Manchester and the CLASS Dashboard will be periodically updated so that
over time the accuracy of the CLASS Dashboard is enhanced. The new CLASS Dashboard and the time series
voltage / demand relationship information generated by the Trials will be made available allowing the
transfer of this key technology to other DNOs.
Network Management Systems Interface
In order to test the capabilities of CLASS and to actively involve National Grid in the Trials, CLASS will
establish an interface, via an Inter-Control centre Communications Protocol (ICCP) based link, between
National Grid's Network Management System (NMS) and ENWL's (POF) system. As previously noted POF
has already been established under the previously LCNF funded Capacity to Customers Project but
functionality will be added via the CLASS project. The POF system and Electricity North West s existing NMS
will be connected via industry standard protocols, including Common Information Model (CIM) and Simple
Object Access Protocol (SOAP). Both National Grid's NMS and POF are developed and licensed by GE, who
will also install and commission the ICCP link between the two systems. National Grid and GE will fund this
element of the CLASS Project. The newly developed Dashboard will be viewed by National Grid via the ICCP
link and provide National Grid both enhanced visibility and direct control of Electricity North West's network.
Electricity North West will test the operational capability of the ICCP link by allowing National Grid to directly
initiate voltage regulation as part of the Trials under controlled conditions. Having both the visibility and
direct operational capability of such a link will be the first dual control link of its kind in GB. This link will
further inform the characteristics, processes and feasibility of control on future industry Grid Code Demand
Control arrangements.
Network Monitoring Equipment
In order to quantify the effects and benefits of CLASS we will locate monitors at tactical points on the
network that will provide the data for analysis by The University of Manchester. CLASS will use existing
monitoring equipment at 132kV and establish new monitoring equipment at Primary and distribution
substations. The University of Manchester has defined the data sampling rates required for this Project.
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Monitoring at 132kV - For the purposes of the Trials, CLASS will use existing Central Volume Allocation
Meters installed at the boundary between Electricity North West and National Grid.
Monitoring at Primary substations - CLASS will install new transducers onto the existing current
transformers (CT) on Primary transformers so as to more accurately record the demand. The voltage will be
recorded using the existing voltage transformers (VT) with both measurements being supplied to the new
Voltage Controller. Additional monitoring devices within the Primary substations will record data on the
health of the transformer and tap changers during the Trials to assess the long term feasibility of applying
these voltage regulations techniques and any affect on the transformers' life.
Monitoring at Distribution substations - CLASS will install voltage monitoring equipment on the low voltage
(LV) side of the distribution transformer. We will use the equipment and techniques devised under Electricity
North West's LCN Fund Tier 1 project, LV Network Solutions.
Description of design of Trials
Scope of CLASS
CLASS explores the potential for DNOs to adopt novel voltage regulation techniques to manage peak
demand on a DNO's network and help manage the generation and demand balance on the GB electricity
network. The CLASS Method will be trialled on 60 Primary Substations across it's network, representing 17%
of Electricity North West's network and is representative of the type of customer mix and Primary network
assets on any DNOs' network throughout GB.
Site Selection Methodology
The site selection methodology outlined below, has been developed by The University of Manchester in
conjunction with Electricity North West and endorsed by Parsons Brinckerhoff. The indicative Trial sites are
mapped in Appendix A and the full site selection methodology is detailed in Appendix B.
The University of Manchester has recommended that 60 Primary substations should be included within the
Project for the results to be regarded as statistically robust and representative of GB networks. The following
three aspects are applied to filter and select the Primary substations for the Trials:
1. Load Classes - As different load types respond differently to changes in voltages, a Primary substation
can be categorised and highlight different customer groups by load on the network. It is proposed the
CLASS Method is deployed at Primary substations across a range of different customer compositions to
determine the most responsive type of customers and their loads.
2. Primary substation loading level - To understand whether it is possible to defer network investment by
peak load reduction, it is proposed that the CLASS Method is deployed at those Primary substations
whose annual peak demand is a significant percentage of its Firm Capacity.
3. Demand Zones - It is proposed that the CLASS Method is deployed at multiple Primary substation
locations in each of the key GSP demand zones within ENWL's area. This is because a GSP represents
the boundary point with National Grid and is the point at which the aggregate effect is being considered.
Other additional considerations will also form part of the final selection process, as has been highlighted in
Appendix B.
Hypotheses
The CLASS Project will test the following hypotheses:
1. CLASS Method creates a demand response and reactive absorption capability through the application of
innovative voltage regulation techniques.
2. Customers within the CLASS Trial areas will not see/observe/notice an impact on the power quality when
these innovative techniques are applied.
3. The CLASS Method will show that a small change in voltage can deliver a very meaningful demand
response, thereby engaging all customers in demand response.
4. The CLASS Method will defer network reinforcement and save carbon, by the application of demand
decrement at the time of system peak
5. The CLASS Method uses existing assets with no detriment to their asset health.
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Trials
The CLASS Trials will occur over a full year with the objective to rigorously test the Hypotheses detailed
above. To test Hypothesis 2, CLASS will identify and engage with a representative sample of the domestic
and commercial customers supplied from the Trial Primary substations to periodically answer a
questionnaire on the quality of their electricity supply. A Control Group will be established outside the Trial
area to ensure that we can baseline our results for the customers in the Trial area.
The remaining Hypothesis will be tested under the following Trials:
Demand Response Trials 1 & 2
These Trials and their respective test regime will be developed to provide the evidence to wholly answer
Hypothesis 3,4, and 5 and partly answer 1
Reactive Power Trial 3
These Trials and their respective test regime will be developed to provide the evidence to partly answer
Hypothesis 1
Test Regime
For those Trials where we seek to understand the response across the annual cycle we propose to apply a
test programme that initiates an action at least once in one half hour for a weekday and a weekend day for
each season, thereby collecting data for a 24 hour period of a weekday and weekend day for every season.
For the Trials that we have identified as being more suitable for application to a specific season, our test
programme initiates an action in all the half hour periods that the necessary response is required.
CLASS will also test the parallel provision of the demand response and reactive power absorption at specific
points during the annual cycle to fully understand the opportunities and boundaries of dynamic voltage
regulation. The CLASS test regime will be executed by Electricity North West but will incorporate the
initiation of actions by National Grid via the use of an ICCP interface. The test regime, the Trials, and
execution methodology will provide The University of Manchester with the data to fully analyse the provision
capability of such techniques by a DNO. The test regime and execution methodology will be developed prior
to the Trials with the assistance of our Project Partners: Siemens, National Grid, GE and The University of
Manchester.
Changes since initial screening process
The scope of the CLASS Project has reduced from our initial ISP submission. The changes are identified
below and in further detailed in Table 2:
1. Deferral of the commercial and market research project elements to a later stage
2. Fewer substations due to the improved selection methodology
3. No DNO collaboration due to the smaller number of sites and improved selection methodology
4. Passive Supplier involvement
5. Revised Customer Monitoring
The redesigned Project will deliver the same benefits outlined in the ISP but now only take 2.75 years to
complete and cost only £9 million versus £12.1 million.
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Project Description images
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The CLASS Solution is a smart grid tool which facilitates deferment of network reinforcement and provides
potential frequency control and voltage management mechanisms for all GB networks.
The business case for CLASS is based upon the principle of deploying the CLASS Method in a manner that
represents any DNO's network, and facilitate its adoption to all network operators within GB. CLASS will help
facilitate the transition to a low carbon economy and delivery of GB-wide benefits for all electricity
customers, both in terms of financial and carbon savings. These benefits can be quantified and where
appropriate the business case has sought to highlight these. However, there are other benefits that although
cannot be directly quantified have also been explored and described in the sections below. The business
case includes an investigation into the costs associated with the CLASS Project and these have been
developed in collaboration with our Project Partners throughout the bid preparation phase.
The knowledge gained in undertaking the CLASS Project will allow Electricity North West to build on its
previous Demand Side Response work, and to identify how a DNO can create an opportunity to defer
network reinforcement and provide network services. CLASS will feed this learning into RIIO ED1. Assuming
positive customer engagement, the Project demonstrates potential significant customer benefits through
reduced DUoS charges.
Customer Benefits
Electricity North West, with the assistance of the Tyndall Centre and The University of Manchester, has
undertaken initial modelling work on the potential benefits of its CLASS Project. The modelling has been
based on an assessment of the range of network reinforcements required at substations when demand
exceeds capacity. This modelling work details the type, financial cost, carbon cost and time to complete
reinforcement. Additional modelling has been undertaken by the Tyndall Centre to understand the carbon
savings available by providing demand response and reactive power absorption capabilities to NETSO and
this is included in Appendix H.
Financial Benefits
The principal benefit of the CLASS Solution is that it provides a quickly implemented Method to defer
reinforcement through the application of voltage decrement techniques at times of peak loading to reduce
peak demand. In the short to medium term (within DPCR5 and RIIO-ED1) extending the time to reinforce,
creates opportunity to consider alternative infrastructure investment decisions, including customer demand
response programs; and in the longer term (ie RIIO-ED2 and beyond) the application of this technique
allows the optimal scheduling of resources to manage the expected significant infrastructure development
program from the connection of low carbon technologies.
When the CLASS Method is applied across all Primary substations in the Project, Electricity North West could
gain up to 11.8 MVA of network capacity, and defer the reinforcement of four Primary substations with an
associated expenditure of £2.25 million for up to three years. The CLASS Method can be implemented at one
Primary substation 57 times faster and 12 times cheaper than traditional reinforcement. As it takes one
week to retrofit into a Primary substation at a cost of £44 000 compared with the typical average time to
reinforce a Primary substation of 57 weeks at a cost of £560 000 (Figure 2).
These are the minimum benefits available by reducing the voltage by 1.5% (ie one tap position) at the
Primary substation; additional benefits may be available if the voltage is reduced by more than one tap
position (ie 3% for two taps etc.). The Trials will determine the boundaries of applying such techniques.
If the CLASS Solution is applied first to all ENWL's Primary substations, it could release 69 MVA (the
equivalent of three new Primary substations) and defer £6.7 million in reinforcement expenditure, When
applied at GB scale, it is possible to gain up to 937 MVA (the equivalent of 40 new Primary substations) and
defer £90 million in reinforcement costs (Figure 3 & 4).
The Grid Code obliges a DNO to provide a demand response to NETSO for the management of frequency but
its provision, delivered by the 3% or 6% voltage reduction at DNO substations; but this is generally called
upon when other generation and demand management options such as STOR have been exhausted. There is
no Base Case for the commercial provision of demand response for frequency reserve or reactive power for
voltage control from a DNO to NETSO. This is because the current regulatory model disincentivises such
activities. The feasibility study and the scoping studies developed by The University of Manchester and
Tyndall Centre in preparation of the CLASS Full Submission highlighted the potential revenues from the
provision of these network services to NETSO could be in the region of £25 000 000 per annum, which
would flow directly to DNO customers, through reduced bills (from lower DUoS charges).
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Carbon Benefits
In the CLASS Project the deferment of four Primary substations will defer carbon of 209 tCO2eq and
potentially reduce network losses delivering a carbon saving. Rolling out across Electricity North West,
CLASS would defer 1 251 tCO2eq; whilst GB-wide, the carbon deferred is 16 266 tCO2eq. The actual
reduction in losses from applying the peak reduction technique will be assessed within CLASS.
The Innovation Funding Incentive Report (IFI) highlights the subsequent “Scope of Work” reinforcing the
potential financial and carbon benefits derived in providing demand response for frequency reserve and
reactive power for voltage control. In the CLASS Project, we propose to show that it is possible to support
the wider GB system through the provision of demand response and reactive power absorption to NETSO, as
well as the carbon savings derived. But initially to understand the potential carbon savings available by
adopting CLASS, The Tyndall Centre considered the existing operators in the frequency reserve/ control and
reactive power markets and assumed that these would be displaced by the CLASS Solution
(see Appendix H).
Demand Response: The CLASS Trials will use the inherent functionality of the Voltage Controllers to sense
under frequency events and initiate a voltage decrement by either switching out one of a pair of Primary
transformers or lowering the current tap position of each Primary transformer. CLASS will quantify the
demand response that can be provided at all times of year, whilst maintaining the quality of supply to
customers and the health of our existing assets. Using the Fast Reserve (FR) and the Firm Frequency
Reserve (FFR) markets as a proxy for understanding the current carbon intensity of frequency control
services the Tyndall Centre has shown is that there are significant carbon savings opportunities available by
displacing current providers. The current market participants in FR and FFR have a carbon footprint of
between 500 to 800 gCO2eq per kWh. The CLASS Trials will determine the size of the demand response and
when it could be provided, but in the CLASS Project a demand response could displace up to 360 tCO2eq per
annum from 365 applications ie one hour per day. As the CLASS Method is scaled up the carbon saving at
Electricity North West are potentially up to 2 280 tCO2eq per annum or 18 299 tCO2eq over RIIO-ED1; and
further to GB are up to 29 637 tCO2eq per annum or 237 888 tCO2eq over RIIO-ED1.
Reactive Power: National Grid procures reactive power to manage the energy flows across the transmission
network. This is secured through various market mechanisms or through the operation of compensation
equipment e.g. Static VAr Compensators (SVCs) and Mechanically Switched Capacitors (MSCs). National
Grid monitors the real power and reactive power flows across its network and at Grid Supply Points, the
boundary with distribution network operators. The reactive power requirements change significantly over
each day and on a seasonal basis and where there is a requirement for additional reactive support that the
reactive market cannot provide, then National Grid will install reactive compensation equipment. The CLASS
Trials will apply the `tap stagger' technique to reduce the power factor of the Primary substation by
generating circulating current around the pair of Primary substation transformers, thereby increasing
reactive power demand on higher voltage networks. CLASS will quantify the reactive power absorption
capability that can be created, whilst maintaining the quality of supply to customers and the health of our
existing assets. Using the installation of a STATCOM as a proxy for understanding the carbon intensity of the
traditional solution for managing transmission system voltage The Tyndall Centre has reported that there
are significant carbon savings in the application of the `tap stagger' technique for the provisioning of
reactive power . In the CLASS Project, if the technique is applied at all 60 Primary substations for 360 hours
per annum ( ie 4 hours per night for 90 days) the CLASS Trials are expected to provide 112 MVAr, totalling
40.4 GVArh per annum, and saving up to 4 071 tCO2eq per annum. As the CLASS Method is scaled up the
carbon saving at Electricity North West are 25 845 tCO2eq per annum or 252 527 tCO2eq over RIIO ED1;
and further to GB are 335 950 tCO2eq per annum 3 282 819 tCO2eq over RIIO ED1.
Non Quantified Benefit
Whilst the CLASS Method demonstrates significant potential financial and carbon saving benefits there are
also a number of non quantifiable benefits that should be noted. The first of these is how the Solution will
inform discussions in the RIIO-ED1mid-term review.
A key aspect of RIIO-ED1 is innovation and how customers will benefit from demonstrating this. The CLASS
Project demonstrates innovation in the novel use of dynamic voltage regulation techniques to drive the
greater utilisation of our existing assets. CLASS, like last year's Capacity to Customers Project follows the
same strategy of generating additional value for our customers and stakeholders from the greater use of
existing assets.
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Another key consideration for RIIO-ED1 and beyond is the delivery of network services with long-term value
for money for existing and future consumers. Learning from CLASS will inform whether the innovative use of
dynamic voltage regulation for demand response paves the way for better value for money delivery of
network services. The Project will also confirm whether the Solution can play a role in the delivery of a
secure and sustainable energy sector, reducing the carbon intensity of current balancing services provision.
An updated and enriched understanding of consumer voltage/demand characteristics will enhance power
system modelling at distribution and transmission levels when determining reinforcement timing (immediate
post-fault voltage depressions) and to assess voltage instability risk that can jeopardise power system
security on a large scale.
We also anticipate additional benefits through the availability of an enhanced operational interface (the ICCP
link included in CLASS) between Electricity North West and NETSO. This interface could provide additional
future benefits, as more embedded generation is installed on Electricity North West's network which would
otherwise be `invisible' to NETSO.
The development of the network monitoring equipment within CLASS will form the basis of a fully funded
Long Term Monitoring Study, conducted by National Grid with support from The University of Manchester.
The data collected will help track the change in the voltage /demand relationship over time with the
penetration of customers' low carbon technologies.
The flexibility created by CLASS could facilitate the development of other smart solutions. The fast
application of CLASS could be valuable in bridging the operational time gap before other solutions come into
effect for example enabling forms of DR via aggregators or the effect of price signals from the time of use
pricing via smart metering.
Costs & Assumptions
By having worked closely with our Partners in the scoping of the CLASS Project and through a robust
standardised financial costing methodology, Electricity North West has been able to capture and continually
refine the Project costing model. This continual improvement process and the lessons learnt from C2C and
other LCN funded projects has enabled Electricity North West to develop an accurate and value for money
proposition. The total cost of CLASS is £9 million, with funding for the total costs coming from the following
three areas:
1. LCN Fund: £7.17 million
2. Electricity North West Contribution: £0.81 million
3. Project Partners' contribution: £0.91million
A significant proportion of CLASS will be funded by the Project Partners, with all the Partners contributing to
the funding of CLASS. The funding levels from the Partners are:
National Grid: £0.39 million
Siemens: £0.31 million
GE: £0.12 million
The University of Manchester: £85k
Impact Research: £10k
Parsons Brinckerhoff: £5k
Chiltern Power: £4k
The total has been broken down into the following main cost segments:
Project Management: £0.9 million
Technology Build: £5.7 million
o ICCP Link & Communications Infrastructure £0.9 million
o Dashboard £0.9 million
o Voltage Control Scheme £3.1 million
o Monitoring £0.7 million
Trials: £0.49 million
o Customer Survey £0.37 million
Learning & Dissemination: £1.3 million
o Research £1.0 million
o Dissemination Activities £0.3 million
Contingency £0.6 million
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In developing the CLASS Project costs the following key assumptions have been made:
All costs include RPI,
RPI rates are those issued by Ofgem, and
Project funding includes a 6% contingency.
The main Project costs are for the development of the technology to operate the CLASS Method. These costs
cover the purchase and installation of the Voltage Controllers in the 60 Trial Primary Substations, the
purchase and installation of the network and health monitoring equipment across the network, the creation
of the ICCP interface (which is fully funded from the Partners' contributions to recognize that these costs
should not be borne by DNO customers), and the development of the Dashboard. A detailed breakdown of
the cost components can be seen in Table 3 and Figure 5 on page 17, and within the financial workbook in
Appendix K.
Electricity North West Direct Benefits and Contribution
The Directs Benefits resulting from undertaking the CLASS Project appear in the following two areas and
totals £87 960:
1. the replacement of the Automatic Voltage Control schemes in Primary Substation; and
2. the deferment of network reinforcement in the expected four category Load Indices 5 Primary substations
in the Trial.
A methodology has been developed to calculate the Direct Benefits for each category and these are
described below. The value of the Direct Benefits have been estimated as the 60 Trial Primary substations
will be chosen in the CLASS Project using the agreed site selection methodology, the initial draft described in
Appendix H.
Asset Replacement - There are a wide range of types of AVCs fitted across Electricity North West 's Primary
Substation population. Considering the whole population, approximately 49% of the Primary substations
have AVC assets that we would expect to replace, due to age and limited functionality. The cost of replacing
an AVC scheme is £17 000 per substation. Within the DPCR5 replacement programme Electricity North West
expect to replace network assets at six Primary substations in 2013/14. Therefore the Direct Benefits have
been calculated assuming that Electricity North West will replace the AVC schemes at three Primary
substations as part of the Technology Build Workstream at a cost saving of £52 680.
Network Reinforcement - In the CLASS Trials we expect to defer the network reinforcement of four category
Load Indices 5 Primary substations, which would typically cost £2.25 million. The CLASS Project will prove
that a DNO is able to defer the reinforcement, thereby savings cost of capital for a length of the time
extension, expected to be up to three years. Therefore the Direct Benefits have been calculated assuming
that Electricity North West will save the financing cost of the £2.25 million, totalling £35 280.
As part of the LCN Fund mechanism Electricity North West is responsible for contributing 10% of the total
Project cost, which represents a contribution of £0.81 million. The above commentary details that £87 960
of this would be funded through Direct Benefits and remainder straight from Electricity North West .
The CLASS Project has been through the Electricity North West internal approval process and has been
signed off by the Board.
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The CLASS Method implements dynamic voltage regulation into distribution networks to deliver a low cost,
low risk, non-intrusive way of creating tools for active network management.
Accelerates the development of a low carbon energy sector & has the potential to deliver new financial
benefits to future and/ or existing customers
CLASS will trial a novel method of actively managing the network, through dynamic voltage control
techniques, delivering significant cost and carbon savings to all energy consumers. These savings are
derived from i) a demand response capability deferring expensive network reinforcement and ii) Reactive
Power Absorption and frequency control capabilities providing NETSO with alternative lower carbon options
for the balancing of the network (eg 365 000 tCO
2
eq per annum).
In this section and with further supporting material in Appendix H, we set out to further quantify the impacts
that the CLASS Solution could have.
CLASS Project: The site selection methodology (described in Appendix B) identified that 60 Primary
substations would be involved in the CLASS Trials. In the Project, Electricity North West could release, at
peak demand, up to 11.8 MVA (the equivalent of a half of a new Primary substation) of network capacity
across all the Primary substations, with a 1.5% voltage decrement (provided through a single tap). Greater
capacity could be released with further decrements and the Trials will determine the permissible range and
any limits on duration, whilst maintaining network integrity and quality of supply for our customers.
Installation is 57 times faster at a cost which is 12 times less the traditional reinforcement approach. A one-
off installation cost of £44 000 per Primary substation to provide the peak reduction functionality then
provides the capability for the demand response for frequency control and reactive power for voltage
control.
Electricity North West: Roll out across the Electricity North West network could deliver 69.4 MVA (the
equivalent of three new Primary substations) and delay the reinforcement of all highly loaded (ie category
Load Indices 5) Primary substations for several years. Applied tactically the peak demand management
technique can be quickly implemented to provide an opportunity to compare the purchase of a demand-side
response programme with other traditional reinforcement options. This quick-win will be highly valuable
towards the end of RIIO-ED1 and beyond, as the rate of electricity demand growth is expected to
significantly increase. The ability to provide demand response for frequency control and reactive power for
voltage control to National Grid has the potential to save up 28 000 tCO
2
eq per annum.
Great Britain: A rollout of the CLASS Solution across GB could release 937 MVA (the equivalent of 40 new
Primary substations) and delay the reinforcement of all highly loaded Primary substations for several years.
The flexibility gained by dynamically regulating the distribution network voltage is significant whether it is
applied locally to manage network constraints or across the network to assist with GB system stability. The
ability to provide demand response for frequency reserve and reactive power for voltage control to National
Grid has the potential to save up 365 000 tCO
2
eq per annum and will assist the transition to a low carbon
electricity sector from the support for intermittent generation.
A roll-out of CLASS across GB - accelerated contribution to Carbon Plan
The government's Carbon Plan addresses the challenge of decarbonisation by highlighting the three themes
of `Generating our electricity', `Heat for our home and businesses', and `Powering our cars and vehicles'.
To meet the Carbon Plan more low carbon electricity generation will be needed to meet increased demand
from new electric heat and transport systems. These changes are at risk of delay due to the time and cost of
network reinforcement; this is similar to existing constraints on wind generation schemes planned to the
North of the Beauly Denny transmission reinforcement scheme.
In addition, the power flows across GB's networks will be more changeable due to the intermittency of low
carbon distributed generation. The CLASS Solution will help address these challenges cost-effectively,
quickly and with a lower carbon impact than traditional methods. The CLASS Solution contributes to Chapter
2 - Secure, sustainable low carbon energy and specifically the `Reform of the electricity grid' section within
the Carbon Plan. Class delivers cost effective and non-intrusive demand response for demand management
and potentially demand response for frequency control and reactive power absorption for voltage control. We
have also ensured that The Project will not obstruct or interfere with the smart metering roll-out or other
green government initiatives.
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Secure, sustainable low carbon electricity - CLASS accelerates the creation of a secure and sustainable low
carbon electricity sector in the two ways: firstly the CLASS Solution utilises reliable and proven technology/
assets in a novel way to improve network efficiency whilst maintaining the security of supply to DNO
customers; and secondly CLASS facilitates the connection of low carbon generation whilst deferring the
financial/carbon costs currently required to reinforce the network in providing such additional capacity.
Reform of the electricity grid - The increase in electricity generation and the change in the generation mix
will make system control more complex and demanding. The CLASS Project accelerates the reform of the
electricity networks in two ways: firstly the flexible demand management technique trialled, facilitates the
quick connection of low carbon generation and demand; and secondly the voltage regulation techniques
trialled in CLASS will demonstrate how distribution networks can help transmission system stability by
providing a demand response for frequency control and reactive power for voltage control. Through CLASS,
research and analysis will determine whether distribution network operators can contribute to maintaining
an economic and secure electricity system; through the provision of these lower cost and lower carbon
options.
How a roll out of the Method across GB will deliver carbon benefits more quickly
Traditional reinforcement involves the construction of carbon intensive assets, particularly new switchgear
and transformers. Significant time is currently required in the scoping, design, approval, construction and
commissioning of a new Primary substation. This is increasingly likely to become a bottle-neck, as electricity
demand and generation is expected to grow. In contrast, the CLASS Method is quick-win which provides a
window of opportunity for the network operator to make the appropriate investment decision, whether
traditional reinforcement or the procurement of demand response directly from customers or via an
aggregator. Additional capacity can be released for use in one week simply by installation of a new voltage
controller at a Primary substation, compared with a typical reinforcement timescale for a Primary substation
of 57 weeks. This quicker delivery of capacity will prevent delays in the connection of low carbon generation
and demand to the network, and impact customers' carbon emissions.
CLASS will demonstrate how distribution networks can help transmission system stability by providing a
demand response for frequency control and reactive power for voltage control. The capability to generate
the demand response and reactive power is available at a Primary substation in one week and within one
year across the whole of Electricity North West compared with several years for the installation of new
generation assets or reactive power compensation equipment.
The potential for replication across GB
CLASS will trial the voltage regulation techniques on 60 Primary substations on it's distribution network, this
represents 17% of our Primary substation assets and 1.5% of GB's Primary distribution network. The
University of Manchester's review of CLASS identified that the Electricity North West network represents
7.4% of GB's distribution networks at system peak demand. This indicates that the CLASS Method could be
scaled up to the GB level via a scaling factor of about 13.5; this facto will be refined during our Project.
With reactive power absorption, the scaling factor is slightly lower due to the necessity of two transformers
at each Primary substation and The University of Manchester report indicates a factor of about 11; again ,
this factor will be refined during our Project.
Quantifying the potential carbon contribution of a roll out of CLASS across GB
The Tyndall Centre assessed the carbon impact for the CLASS Project, for an Electricity North West roll-out
and a GB roll-out. No carbon savings have been assumed for deferring the reinforcement of Primary
substation assets as potentially these assets may be required in the future. However, in the CLASS Project
the installation of the Voltage Controllers is marginal at 1.4 tCO
2
eq, the roll-out across Electricity North West
totals 8.7 tCO
2
eq, and a GB roll-out totals 113 tCO
2
eq. Whilst the deferral of carbon could potentially be as
high as 289 tCO
2
eq in the CLASS Project, 1 736 tCO
2
eq in an Electricity North West roll-out and 22 571
tCO
2
eq in a GB roll-out, assuming the building of each new Primary substation is deferred for three years.
These figures exclude the potential carbon impact of reducing losses from the reduction in demand. During
the Trials the carbon impact will be determined.
The carbon savings are potentially very large for the provision of demand response for frequency reserve
and the provision of reactive power for voltage control. The Tyndall Centre considered the two markets of
Fast Reserve and the Firm Frequency Response to estimate the potential lower and upper carbon savings
range. For the CLASS Project the carbon savings are potentially up to 360 tCO
2
eq per annum assuming the
demand response is provided one hour per week. This scales up to 2 288 tCO
2
eq per annum for an
Electricity North West roll-out and to 29 750 tCO
2
eq per annum for a GB wide roll-out. In RIIO-ED1 this
technique could conservatively save 5 100 tCO
2
eq in an Electricity North West roll-out and 66 306 tCO
2
eq in
a GB wide roll-out (See Figure 6).
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For the case of the provision of reactive power for voltage control the Tyndall Centre estimates that in the
CLASS Project the potential carbon savings are up to 4 701 tCO
2
eq per annum. Extrapolated to Electricity
North West wide and GB wide these up to 252 527 tCO
2
eq and 3 282 819 tCO
2
eq for the RIIO-ED1 period
(See Figure 7). Note, these estimates derived through a comparison of the losses created by the tap
staggering technique and with the use of STATCOMS to provide the reactive power, rather than generation
which is unlikely to be available at the required locations.
CLASS has the potential to deliver net financial benefits to existing and/or future customers
The CLASS Project proposes retrofitting 60 Primary substations with new voltage regulation equipment to
facilitate the dynamic operation of network voltage. The logic for selecting 60 Primary substation, which
represents 17% of Electricity North West 's Primary substations assets, is that it provides a robust and
statistically significant sample of the GB's Primary network assets and covers all types of demand and
generation customer connected to HV networks. The CLASS Trials will enable The University of Manchester
to derive the voltage/ demand relationship for every half hour in a year so that the Dashboard can display in
real-time the current demand and the expected demand response available. In addition, the Dashboard will
display the expected reactive power absorption capability in advance of each half hour. This information is
considered of use to the NETSO operational teams and our Project will report on these benefits.
Our estimates of the net financial benefits to customers are split across the three techniques of:
Demand Response providing peak reduction - The Trials will show that a demand response generated by
the dynamic voltage regulation can alleviate the peak demand of a Primary substation. The aim of the
Trials is to prove that Primary substation network reinforcement can be deferred;
Demand Management for frequency reserve - The Trials will show that a network wide demand response
from the collective dynamic operation of network voltage, initiated by sensing a low frequency event,
can be provided in an acceptable time period, for example less than 10 seconds. The aim of the Trials
is to prove that the demand response generated can assist with the control of system frequency.
Reactive Power for voltage control - The Trials will show that the power factor of a Primary substation or a
group of Primary substations can be altered through the use of the tap staggering technique, thereby
drawing reactive power from the higher voltage networks. The aim is to prove that the change in
reactive power demand is observed on National Grid's network and can be used to help control the
transmission voltage.
No value will be included for the use of Demand response to provide demand boost technique as there is
currently no proxy for its use. This technique could be used to provide either additional frequency control or
“wind following” ie where demand is boosted to avoid the curtailment of wind generation.
Method cost and Base Case costs at the scale of the Project
CLASS Method Costs: The main network cost of the CLASS Method is the installation of the Voltage
Controllers at Primary substations. The total cost for installing this equipment is £2.0 million, assuming a
saving of 25% against the Trial costs from the sharing of the retrofit methodology and the voltage
regulation scheme.. Once installed there are no additional costs associated to the controllers, and a DNO will
have the ability to dynamically regulate the network voltage to create a demand response and reactive
power effect.
To identify the total cost of the CLASS Method, the cost of enabling systems must be added to the above
installation costs. For the CLASS Project, Electricity North West proposes to develop a Dashboard for real-
time display of the current demand and the potential demand response available and the reactive power
absorption potential. This will be developed by GE within its PowerOn Fusion software module. The CLASS
Project benefits from the installation of the Power On Fusion software under the Capacity to Customers
Project, but the marginal cost of extending the licences for its use into 2014/15 is included. This Dashboard
development will be completed for the Project and is not intended as an enduring solution. As all the other
DNOs operate GE's Network Management Systems, the development cost should be reduced from £430k to
£250k. The Dashboard will be shared with National Grid through a standard ICCP interface which could be
replicated in the other DNOs' Control Rooms for £200k, plus the National Grid costs of £150k per each DNO.
Other DNOs should not need to fit monitoring equipment as extensively on the network and the future
Smart Metering roll-out will provide voltage excursion information from end customers, so no cost has been
included for network monitoring. On the scale of the Project but once the techniques are proven (excluding
all innovation and dissemination costs), this gives a total network costs of £2.6m for the CLASS Method.
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In the Trial, the total capacity expected to be released across the 60 Primary substations is 11.8MVA, the
equivalent of a half a new Primary substations (based on a 1.5% voltage decrement at peak demand). Of
the 60 Primary substations selected typically there will be about four or five substations that would fall
within the Load Indices 5 category ie those Primary substations requiring network reinforcement. The rapid
installation of the Voltage Controllers at a cost of £44 000 has the potential to defer the reinforcement of the
Primary substation for up to three years and potentially avoid the network reinforcement (depending on the
voltage decrement possible and the demand growth of each Primary substation). The extended time window
offers three opportunities to a DNO; the first is confirmation that the Primary substation needs
reinforcement, as experience shows that in some instances (eg one in every ten to twelve cases) the peak
that initiated the reinforcement recedes; second is it facilitates the optimal investment decision; and third is
it allows time to develop or procure a demand response programme.
During the year long Trial, the 60 Primary Substations could provide between 0.22 GWh and 0.43 GWh for
frequency reserve. However this would only provide a small proportion of the Fast Reserve requirement and
the CLASS Trials will determine the characteristics of the demand response potentially available for use as
frequency reserve. National Grid's Fast Reserve market is valued at around £50 000/MW/year, potentially
creating significant future value for Electricity North West customers.
The University of Manchester estimated that the total average reactive power absorption per Primary
substation in the CLASS Trial is 1.87 MVAr, therefore the potential total network reactive power absorption
in the Trial will be 112 MVAr. As reactive power absorption is only required during periods of lowest demand
(ie summer nights) this technique can provide 40.4 GVArh in the trial (assuming 4 hours operation per night
over a 90 day period). The CLASS Trials will determine the characteristics of the reactive power that can be
made available to National Grid and the potential locations for use of the tap staggering technique. Reactive
power is valued at around £2.60/MVArh, and National Grid's North region, which covers ENWL's area, needs
significant values of reactive power provision, compared with other regions. Again this has the potential to
create significant future value for Electricity North West customers.
Base Case Costs: The typical costs of reinforcement and the typical time to reinforce has been generated
from the analysis of several recent case studies. The case studies were used to understand the range and
type of network reinforcement designed and planned when a Primary substation goes out of firm capacity ie
the demand at the substation exceeds its capacity rating. The likelihood of each case study was estimated
through analysis of recent network reinforcement schemes, as was the time taken to undertake the network
reinforcement. Further details can be found in Appendix H. The case studies suggest the typical cost for
Primary substation network reinforcement is £560 000 and the typical time to reinforce is 57 weeks. If, out
of the 60 Primary Substations within the Trial, four substations fall within the Load Indices 5 category then
the typical cost of traditional network reinforcement is £2.25M. This cost can be deferred for several years
or potentially avoided.
If the power factor in one part of the EHV or HV network is lower than normal causing voltage or capacity
issues a DNO would currently install new network assets in the form of VAr compensation equipment to
improve the network power factor ie to generate or absorb reactive power. Electricity North West does not
have VAr compensation equipment installed on its network, but this is likely to change in the future from the
connection of low carbon technologies. A future DSO and/ or a micro-grid operator could consider the
alternative of applying the tap staggering technique within its own network to create a virtual reactor.
Therefore there is no Base Case cost for the use of the tap staggering technique but once proven the
technique can be used locally within the distribution network or at the transmission level.
There is also no Base Case for the provision of a demand response to a third party from dynamic voltage
regulation; although some of Electricity North West 's customers provide a demand response into the Short
Term Operating Reserve (STOR) market, directly or via aggregators. Studies in the UK and around the
World have explored reducing voltage to reduce energy consumption and losses. This technique, known as
Conservation Voltage Regulation, steps down the voltage systematically throughout the year to provide
demand reduction for energy saving purposes and typically has shown a 3% reduction in annual energy
consumption for a 3%voltage reduction. The Trials will determine the characteristics of the demand
response across an annual period and establish the change in energy consumed and losses from a change in
voltage.
Based on peak load, Electricity North West 's network represents 7.4% of GB's distribution networks, which
equates to a scaling factor of 13.5. Extrapolating the CLASS Method to the GB network results in 937 MVA
(the equivalent of 40 new Primary substations), which would be expected to cost £90 million using
traditional network reinforcement techniques.
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If the power factor in one part of the EHV or HV network is lower than normal causing voltage or capacity
issues a DNO would currently install new network assets in the form of VAr compensation equipment to
improve the network power factor ie to generate or absorb reactive power. Electricity North West does not
have VAr compensation equipment installed on its network, but this is likely to change in the future from the
connection of low carbon technologies. A future DSO and/ or a micro-grid operator could consider the
alternative of applying the tap staggering technique within its own network to create a virtual reactor.
Therefore there is no Base Case cost for the use of the tap staggering technique but once proven the
technique can be used locally within the distribution network or at the transmission level.
There is also no Base Case for the provision of a demand response to a third party from dynamic voltage
regulation; although some of Electricity North West 's customers provide a demand response into the Short
Term Operating Reserve (STOR) market, directly or via aggregators. Studies in the UK and around the
World have explored reducing voltage to reduce energy consumption and losses. This technique, known as
Conservation Voltage Regulation, steps down the voltage systematically throughout the year to provide
demand reduction for energy saving purposes and typically has shown a 3% reduction in annual energy
consumption for a 3%voltage reduction. The Trials will determine the characteristics of the demand
response across an annual period and establish the change in energy consumed and losses from a change in
voltage.
Based on peak load, Electricity North West 's network represents 7.4% of GB's distribution networks, which
equates to a scaling factor of 13.5. Extrapolating the CLASS Method to the GB network results in 937 MVA
(the equivalent of 40 new Primary substations), which would be expected to cost £90 million using
traditional network reinforcement techniques.
Summary of benefits analysis: The net difference between the Method and Base Case costs is - £0.35M,
assuming a £2.25 million deferment in network costs against a £2.6 million cost for the CLASS Method. The
CLASS Project shows a small negative position as no value has been assigned for the provision of network
services to NETSO.
CLASS's potential customer benefit will be valued within the Project, in terms of proving that a DNO can
apply dynamic voltage regulation techniques to its existing assets to deliver a demand response for
frequency reserve and reactive power for voltage control to NETSO. The Trials will confirm that these
network services can be provided without affecting our customers' quality of supply or the health of our
assets. Both of these new network services can deliver substantial DUoS savings (in the order of tens of
millions of pounds) to a DNOs' customers if provided commercially at current market prices.
The potential for replication across GB
We have assessed the potential for replicating across GB by first assessing the potential for the CLASS
Method at an Electricity North West level and then extrapolating to the GB level.
The CLASS Method can be applied to all of Electricity North West 's Primary substations, but not all the
voltage regulation techniques can be applied at all Primary substation sites. For example, the demand
reduction technique of switching out a single transformer of a pair of Primary transformers (at a standard
Primary substation) or the application of the tap staggering technique is not applicable at a single
transformer Primary Substation.
There are 354 Primary substations within Electricity North West 's distribution network to which Voltage
Controllers, the key element of the CLASS Method, can be applied to. Scaling up to the Electricity North
West network using the same approach for deriving the capacity released suggests the CLASS Method could
release 69.4 MVA (the equivalent of 4 new Primary substations). The traditional network reinforcement
approach to deliver the same capacity would be expected to cost £6.69 million.
The provision of network services to NETSO is uncertain, as the regulatory, commercial, and technical
challenges need to be understood first and then resolved. The CLASS Trials will prove that the technology is
available and can be readily implemented, with the CLASS Project outcomes providing all the information for
other DNOs to implement the CLASS Method within their own estates. Assuming these challenges are
resolved, The University of Manchester estimated that Electricity North West could deliver between 25 MW
(summer midnight) and 170 MW level (winter peak) thereby displacing up to 40% of the tendered
Frequency Reserve. Extrapolating to GB, suggests that the whole of the Frequency Reserve requirement
could be provided by the GB DNOs. The University of Manchester also modelled the total reactive power
absorption potential as 714 MVAr, whilst GB wide the total reactive power absorption potential is 7 854
MVAr (using the defined scaling factor of 11). This overestimates the capability of the existing asset as it
ignores technical restrictions on the use of the tap staggering technique, for example where the reserve
power capability of some transformer tap changers makes this technique unviable and CLASS will confirm
GB capabilities by reviewing asset limitations.
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Provides value for money to distribution Customers
The CLASS Solution will demonstrate, at scale, that existing voltage regulation assets can be augmented
and operated in a novel way which increases the flexibility and utilisation of the distribution network. The
move from passive to dynamic operation of network voltage can be observed around the world, with the US
distribution network operators using it as a smart grid tool to reduce energy consumption and losses. The
CLASS Trials will determine the feasibility of using a range of voltage regulation techniques for the direct
and indirect benefits of DNO customers. Each Trial is considered in turn below with an indication of where
the benefit falls across the participants in the energy supply chain:
Trial 1 will determine the voltage / demand relationship and with The University of Manchester CLASS will
develop a relationship matrix detailing the half-hourly multiplier that when matched with a demand matrix
will provide an estimated half-hourly demand response. Throughout all Trials, CLASS will show that there is
no impact on the quality of supply to customers and no detrimental effect on assets' health. The knowledge
gained would primarily be used by network operators (DNOs, IDNOs and TOs) and the transmission system
operator, NETSO. Network operators could apply the knowledge for changing the operation of their networks
and NETSO would use the knowledge for enhancing the forecast of the provision of the Grid Code, OC6
obligation. Increasing the accuracy of the forecast by 10% is likely to increase the efficiency of the market
by more than 10%, as the purchased safety margin can be reduced.
Trial 2 will determine the viability of each of the proposed voltage regulation techniques delivering a
demand response:
Demand Response for Peak Reduction - Determining whether a DNO can deliver a demand response to
reduce the peak of a Primary substations enabling the deferment of reinforcement. This knowledge provides
an additional tool to a DNO for managing its network, with benefits from optimal network reinforcement
decisions following directly to the DNO's customers, through reduced DUoS.
Demand Response for Frequency Response - Showing that a DNO could provide a demand response
frequency reserve service to NETSO, has the potential to re-define the balancing service market. It is not
possible to determine the value that flows to DNO customers as the regulatory framework doesn't oblige or
incentivise DNOs to provide this service. However, if a DNO could offer this service through the current
market mechanism and achieve the current market price then, all other things being equal, Electricity North
West 's expected revenues are potentially in the region of £25 million per annum, which would flow directly
to DNO customers, through reduced DUoS. This service also generates significant carbon savings from the
displacement of carbon intensive balancing services providers, as described above. Whether the NETSO
benefits is dependent upon how the market and the regulatory incentive regime operates.
Trial 3 will determine the viability of the tap staggering technique for the provision of reactive power
services to NETSO. Again it is not possible to determine the value that flows to DNO customers. But the
current reactive power prices indicate the North West area requires reactive compensation services. If
Electricity North West could offer this service through the current market mechanism and achieve the
current market price then, with all other things being equal, Electricity North West's expected revenues are
potentially in the region of £1 million per annum, which would flow directly to DNO customers, through
reduced DUoS charges. Whether the NETSO benefits is dependent upon how the market and the regulatory
incentive regime operate.
Prior to the closure of the CLASS Project, National Grid has agreed to initiate a Long Term Monitoring Study
to understand the change in the networks' demand response capability over time. Electricity North West will
hand-over the data generated by the monitoring equipment, developed under CLASS, for a period of up to
10 years. Although not valued, as it doesn't form part of CLASS, it does save the decommissioning costs in
CLASS, totalling £50 000.
The Project Partners were selected in a pseudo-competitive manner to drive value for money throughout the
CLASS Project. Electricity North West identified the leading experts of their fields and discussed the outline
CLASS Project with each proposed partner to gauge their interest and commitment to the Project. The
discussions with Retail Suppliers were concluded without agreement of a Supplier being part of the CLASS
Project. Electricity North West's drive to deliver value for money meant that we agreed that the customer
engagement and survey activities would be led by us as our costs were significantly less that the Supplier's
proposed costs.
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Electricity North West stipulated that each Project Partner makes a financial contribution to the funding of
the CLASS Project, thereby reducing the funding from the LCN Fund. Electricity North West decided to follow
this process so that the CLASS Project has all its Partners ready and available to start CLASS when funding
is awarded. The Project Partners' total contribution totals £0.9 million. National Grid's contribution will fund
the installation of the Inter-Control Communications Protocol interface, as this element could be perceived
as only benefitting National Grid.
Generates knowledge that can be shared amongst all DNOs
The CLASS Project will generate knowledge and learning in a number of key areas which will be of particular
interest for DNOs and is likely to feature into their mid-term RIIO-ED1 review and wider ENA industry
discussions.
Impact of Dynamic Voltage Regulation: The main learning outcomes for the industry is to understand the
impact of adopting dynamic voltage regulation, and confirming there is no impact on our customers, nor on
the provision of Grid Code's emergency demand reduction, OC6. In addition, CLASS aims to understand
whether there is an impact on the health of the assets that provide the demand response and reactive
power absorption functionality (e.g. transformers and taps changers).
Network Operation: During the Trials, power and voltage data will be collected at both the Primary
substations, distribution substations and at LV substations using four quadrant metering. The data collected
from these devices will enable us to identify the impact that the voltage regulation techniques have on the
power quality, energy losses, voltage levels and network capacity performance at different times of day,
seasons, etc. The importance of gathering and generating knowledge to be shared amongst interested
parties is to fully understand the impact that voltage regulation schemes would have on their network and if
it would compromise compliance with licence or statutory obligations.
Dashboard and Relationship Matrix: The Relationship Matrix is a very innovative part of the Project, as it
identifies the relationship of demand and voltage and the reactive power absorption capability on a
particular part of a DNO's network. The visual representation, displayed via the Dashboard, allows a system
operator to understand in real-time or at a short time ahead the expected demand response or reactive
power absorption that would be delivered from executing a voltage regulation technique. The specification of
the new module and the dashboard relationship matrix will be shared to all GB DNOs at zero licencing costs
in the form of a standard pro-forma. This knowledge will enable any DNO to build such a dashboard within
their own business or to simply forecast what the relationship is between demand and voltage on their
network
Inter-Control Communication Protocol Interface: National Grid, GE and Electricity North West will establish
the first operational control ICCP link between National Grid and a DNO business. This link will be used
within the CLASS Project to share information via the Dashboard and to trial and run a number of test
scenarios led by National Grid. The knowledge generated and lessons learnt from this will be shared with all
interested parties, which builds upon the previous DECC funded smart grid project undertaken by NG with
another GB DNO. In addition, CLASS will share the processes undertake to configure the interface to meet
the technical & security design architecture requirements. The importance of this work package is that the
knowledge gained will prove valuable insight to all DNOs as they consider how to establish such a link for
their business.
Recommend updates to NETS SQSS: The CLASS Project will recommend changes to the National Electricity
System Security and Quality of Supply Standard in the area of demand response. The network monitoring
equipment, used for data collection to inform the change proposals will continue to collect data and monitor
the network after the LCNF Project finishes, as it will form the basis of a fully funded National Grid Long
Term Monitoring Study. The aim of the monitoring study is to assess the changes over time of the demand
response which will help the industry understand what changes occur over time as more DG and low carbon
technologies get connected to a distribution network.
Carbon and economic modelling: CLASS will share the methodology and results of the carbon and economic
modelling undertaken in the Project, to enable other DNOs and third parties to assess the feasibility of
adopting dynamic voltage regulation techniques.
Stakeholder Engagement: The customer engagement methodology will incorporate lessons learnt from
previous LCN Funded Projects. This early learning has provided an insight into what works and what doesn't.
The overall engagement defined within the Learning and Dissemination approach has been developed from
the early learning from other projects, but will also trial new innovative approaches with CLASS. The
outcome of the engagement is that new information will be presented to the industry as to how best to
engage with customers and stakeholders and what the most effective/appropriate channels are in creating a
positive experience.
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Future Commercial Market Provision: A secondary outcome from the Project is the greater
understanding in what capacity these techniques can and should be deployed. The CLASS Project will not
consider the commercial; market and regulatory aspects of a DSO providing these demand response and/ or
reactive power capabilities to the Balancing Services Market. We anticipate that subsequent projects will
include this because it will be important to understand how the UK can best deliver its decarbonisation
agenda in the most cost effective and efficient way whilst maintaining system security.
Involvement of other partners and external funding
The CLASS Project has a strong consortium of Partners with proven delivery credentials, who are driven to
prove at scale that the concept and techniques can be employed to provide a real benefit in enabling the UK
to transition to a low carbon economy (See Figure 8). The Project Partners were selected in a quasi-
competitive manner, based on the following three criteria:
1. Prior experience in scope of work and reliability to deliver;
2. Involvement represents value for money for CLASS; and their
3. Commitment to Electricity North West, the Project its success and the dissemination of the learning
gained.
CLASS's Partners are the leading experts of their fields, be it in research, technology or customer
engagement. Below is a list of our Project Partners with a summary of both the scope of work they will
undertake in CLASS and how their prior experience supports this.
The University of Manchester: The University of Manchester is regarded as one of the leading universities
in the world for Electrical Engineering in both its academic curriculum and research.
Prior Experience brought to the Project: The University's Electrical Energy and Power Systems Group has
deep knowledge and experience in network modelling, power system dynamics and electrical asset health
profiling. The well-respected Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research (at The University of Manchester)
will support the carbon impact assessment work within the CLASS Project. Tyndall brings together the
leading scientists, academics, economists, and engineers to develop sustainable responses to climate
change for the GB economy.
Role on Project: The University of Manchester will undertake the following three studies as part of CLASS:
1. Network modelling & analysis: This study researches the profiling of network demand and estimates
the network demand response from voltage decrement and increment. The key outputs from this study
are the methodology for characterising the demand response from a Primary substation depending on
the customers connected and the Relationship Matrix for use in the Dashboard.
2. Voltage profile modelling study: - This study uses the load models developed in the first study and
models the capability of Primary substation to deliver demand response and reactive power absorption
capability. The model will be validate against the measurements from the Trials and then used to
confirm voltage compliance across ENWL's network. The key outcome of this study is the analysis that
confirms network voltages at customers' premises will meet statutory limits during use of the dynamic
voltage regulation techniques.
3. Asset health study - This study looks into the short to long term impact of adopting dynamic voltage
regulation techniques.
These three studies will use the monitoring data gathered within the Trials. The University of Manchester will
initially develop and enhance the Relationship Matrix, over the life of the Trails that sits within the
Dashboard, to provide an accurate relationship between demand and voltage. The Tyndall Centre for Climate
Change Research will undertake the carbon impact assessment study within the CLASS Project. The
University of Manchester will be a key learning and dissemination partner for CLASS.
Parsons Brinkerhoff: Parson Brinckerhoff is experienced in all aspects of power generation, transmission
and distribution, and has particular expertise in the regulatory and restructuring aspects of the industry.
Prior Experience brought to the Project: Parson Brinckerhoff works extensively with Electricity North West, in
both normal business activities and Future Network Projects (for example Parson Brinckerhoff is working on
the Capacity to Customers Project), and the wider industry. Their deep knowledge of the distribution
network industry means it understands the engineering aspects of the CLASS Project and the selection of
Primary substation for the Project in order for the findings to be regarded as both credible and
representative to the GB DNO community. The organisation has also in recent years been involved in
delivering key industry papers on planning and policy.
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Role on Project: Parson Brinckerhoff has a number of advisory roles within the CLASS Project. The
organisation will finalise the selection of Primary substations sites for CLASS; and manage the consultation
process in understanding which aspects of NETS SQSS are affected by the proposed GB roll out of CLASS an
Parson Brinckerhoff will be a key learning and dissemination partner for CLASS.
Chiltern Power: Chiltern Power is a specialist consultancy focusing on the technical, commercial and
regulatory aspects of power systems.
Prior Experience brought to the Project: Chiltern Power has been involved in several LCN Fund Projects and
worked with the ENA in developing its Future Networks Strategy and programme. John Scott of Chiltern
Power wrote the original planning standard, PLM-ST-9 which defined the demand response of distribution
networks. The details of PLM-ST-9 were subsumed within NETS SQSS.
Role on Project: Chiltern Power will lead the consultation process for developing the change proposals for
amending NETS SQSS. John Scott will also support the learning and dissemination of any changes or
amendments.
National Grid: National Grid owns and operates the high voltage electricity transmission system in England
and Wales and, as National Electricity Transmission System Operator (NETSO), operates the Scottish high
voltage transmission system and also the GB offshore transmission network.
Prior Experience brought to the Project: National Grid has been actively involved in the delivery of a number
of IFI and LCN Fund Projects, and play a key role in developing electricity industry codes of practice and
policy. They have also led a number of dissemination workshops around demand response, and understand
first-hand the challenges posed to the GB network, due to the connection of low carbon and/ or renewable
generation and adoption of low carbon technologies.
Role on Project: National Grid is responsible for the technical build of the ICCP link within their business and
will support the overall build as well as end-to-end testing of the link into Electricity North West's PowerOn
Fusion Solution. In addition, National Grid will be actively involved in the testing of the four Trials and will
support the work in understanding which aspects of NETS SQSS require amending for the roll out of the
CLASS Solution.
National Grid will also be a key learning and dissemination partner for CLASS.
General Electric (GE): GE is one of the world's leading technology vendors of power generation and
energy delivery technologies.
Prior Experience brought to the Project: GE has extensive LCN Fund experience and was previously involved
in the installation of the PowerOn Fusion suite within ENWL's Capacity to Customers Project.
Role on Project: GE will install both the software and hardware of the ICCP Link, and ensure that any
necessary configuration with ENWLs PowerOn Fusion suite is completed and rigorously tested before the
Trials are undertaken. GE will also be a key learning and dissemination partner for CLASS.
GE will be a key learning and dissemination partner for CLASS.
Siemens: Siemens is one of the world's leading technology vendors of power generation and energy
delivery technologies.
Prior Experience brought to the Project: Siemens is a global technology vendor, with extensive experience in
successfully providing and implementing smart solutions into DNOs. The organisation as a result offers a
portfolio of services and products across the Smart Grid ecosystem, and is able to draw from the experience
and knowledge that has been acquired in the delivery of such solutions on a global basis.
Role on Project: Siemens will supply, install and configure the substation Voltage Controllers at the Primary
substations. Additional support will be provided to ensure that implementation of both the software and
hardware will successfully interface with the existing systems and that all the necessary testing occurs. The
successful supply and installation of the aforementioned will enable Electricity North West to Trial the
dynamic voltage regulation techniques.
Siemens will be a key learning and dissemination partner for CLASS.
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Impact Research: Impact Research is a leading marketing and customer engagement organisation within
the UK.
Prior Experience brought to the Project: Impact Research is a leading marketing research organisation with
extensive experience in customer engagement activities within the utilities industry. The organisation has
successfully delivered a number of LCNF Projects.
Role on Project: Impact Research will support the customer engagement of CLASS by co-ordinating the end-
to-end delivery of customer surveys during the Project.
Relevance and Timing
The core value of CLASS lies in the opportunity to manage the existing assets in a smarter way to help
resolve the future challenges driven by the transition to the low carbon economy. Its relevance as to “why
now” is to understand and prove that these novel techniques work at scale in good time before any GB wide
deployment.
Other Second Tier LCN Fund Projects are attempting to understand the impact on the network from
increasing distributed generation and/or demand and develop mitigation techniques. Instead CLASS looks at
using what there is now in a smarter way, to help shape how the future DNO business operates.
Smarter use of existing assets
The CLASS Solution is a novel method of using dynamic voltage regulation to actively manage capacity
constraints on the network. Applying this method provides the opportunity to deliver additional network
capacity and defer carbon intensive network reinforcement. The likelihood of such a technique being
adopted at an Electricity North West and GB wide scale is very high as this smart method is based around
existing assets that are going to be applicable for any DNO business in the foreseeable future regardless of
the market arrangements. The low cost CLASS Solution provides a DNO with the flexibility of adopting such
techniques at specific Primary substations to manage peak demands and provide location-based reactive
power absorption capability or at all Primary substations to derive a network wide demand response and
reactive power absorption capability. Dynamically regulating voltage, as proposed in CLASS, will facilitate
the move to a low carbon economy in a non-intrusive way with respect to the customer and without
impacting other government initiatives (e.g. Smart Metering Deployment).
Future business planning & Price Controls
The outcomes of CLASS, could have a significant impact on the mid-term RIIO-ED1 review arrangements,
and fundamentally change the operating model of a DNO in a number of ways. The ability to delay network
reinforcement and to potentially provide demand response and reactive power absorption capabilities to the
Balancing Services Market through commercial arrangements will take a DNO business one step closer to
including a DSO role. In addition, the development of the Dashboard and the Relationship Matrix will deliver
a standardised platform which through the connection via ICPP can be shared with National Grid in its role
as NETSO. The inclusion of a dynamic DNO-NETSO link will improve a DNO's timely response to executing a
mandatory voltage reduction under the Grid Code, OC6.
There will be little or no impact on the outcomes from the CLASS Project if the increase in the distributed
generation and acceleration of adopting low carbon technologies does not occur or occur at the rate
anticipated. The knowledge and benefits derived by CLASS warrants it being incorporated into a DNO's
future operating model or business plans. This is because the opportunity window derived by the CLASS
Solution from deferring reinforcement and the associated carbon and costs savings both in the short to long
term, is of value. Electricity North West will incorporate the findings and conclusions throughout the
Project's lifecycle into its future business planning and price control discussions.
Knowledge and Learning
The knowledge and learning from CLASS will complement and build on a number of international studies on
`Conservation Voltage Reduction' techniques by providing the first study of the new techniques within a
deregulated energy market.
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We will generate significant knowledge that through a structured dissemination program will reach all our
stakeholders.
The CLASS Project will provide the knowledge of whether or not, by adopting the voltage regulation
techniques, a DNO can create a range of demand response and reactive power capabilities and apply them
to save costs and reduce carbon for customers. The knowledge collected and the manner in which it is
disseminated is central to CLASS, as it must provide all audiences with the necessary evidence and
confidence for the adoption of the CLASS Solution.
Audiences
We identify our main audience/stakeholders as being:
Customers: The customer is a crucial part of our dissemination agenda as the voltage regulation techniques
will benefit them. Electricity North West has identified that there will be a variety of end customers that we
will need to engage within CLASS, from the all the customers in the Trial area to those which will actively
participate in the Trials by completing the customer surveys. Within these groups Electricity recognises that
not only will their specific interests differ but also level of understanding of demand response , power quality
and the low carbon agenda. Informing and engaging our customer in demand response is important as it will
provide an insight into the role that DNOs are able to play in the transition to a lower carbon economy.
Consumer Groups: Consumer Focus and The Climate Change Group will have a keen interest in the
customer impact during the Project and afterwards; especially if the recommendations in the close down
report identify using voltage regulation techniques is a viable approach and should be implemented at a GB
level.
Energy Industry Participants: Our industry participant audience consists of the Generators, Network
Operators (ie DNOs, IDNOs, TOs etc) Retail Suppliers, Aggregators, technology vendors, equipment
manufacturers, NETSO, and the Balancing Settlement Organisations. All of these energy industry
participants will wish to gain a better understanding of one or more of the following:
Generators, in particular those that supply renewable forms of intermittent energy, will be keen to
understand how the utilisation of voltage regulation techniques will impact their business;
DNOs and IDNOs will be interested in understanding how best they can apply the lessons learnt into their
networks to deliver benefits to their customers, in terms of lower cost and lower carbon footprint;
Retail Suppliers will be keen to understand what the impact is to the customer and their businesses as
network operators apply these innovative voltage regulation techniques;
The technology vendors and equipment manufacturers will be interested in understanding what the
impact is on the health of the assets as network operators use voltage regulation techniques, and how
the findings and knowledge gained could be incorporated in the development of future products and
services;
Aggregators will be keen to understand if and how the creation of the new network services impact on
their business models;
NETSO and the Balancing Settlement Organisations (eg Elexon) will be interested in understanding how
the creation and use of new network services impact on the current systems, incorporating the change in
role from a DNO to become more like a DSO.
Industry Groups: Our main industry group audience includes the Energy Networks Association (ENA), the
Smart Energy Demand Coalition (SEDC), Energy UK and industry lobbyist groups such as Smart Grid GB.
The industry groups will be keen to understand our Project outcomes and any impact on DNO and GB
network design, operating models and industry regulation.
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Academic Institutions: This will include universities and higher education institutions with an interest in this
Project. Their primary interest will lie in access to, and analysis of the raw data that is collected during the
CLASS Project, and how they can use this information as part of their on-going programmes. They may also
validate or identify alternative conclusions from those which have been identified by our academic Project
Partner. These institutions are also likely to have an interest in the engineering mathematics and technical
design of the Project.
Government and Regulator: DECC, Ofgem and other policy makers will be primarily interested in the
outcomes of the Project as it has the potential to change how network operators manage their network and
provide network services to other system operators.
Local Groups: Local groups including local councils, business leaders, Chambers of Commerce, Greater
Manchester Energy Group will be interested in the impact on customers and so will form part of our main
audience.
Electricity North West: The knowledge and learning developed from this Project will be shared and actively
discussed within both the CLASS Project team and in the wider Electricity North West organisation. Teams
throughout the organisation e.g. network planning, finance, regulatory policy and our field engineers will be
interested in all aspects of CLASS to understand where and how it can be best incorporated and applied in
the future, making it business as usual. The CLASS Project team will continually share the knowledge and
learning across all parts of our business.
Dissemination Approach
We will tailor our dissemination in order to best match the interest and structure of each of our stakeholder,
identified above. As a result, our approach is pragmatic, simple and targeted, and will use a number of
different dissemination mediums to enable individuals to maximise their learning through which ever
learning style(s) they prefer. The learning and dissemination approach for CLASS recognises that the key
dissemination and engagement mediums must enable two-way communication with our audience. This
feedback mechanism will allow the Project to develop a CLASS community for all interested parties and
ensures that CLASS is responsive to its environment. The following are some of our proposed dissemination
approaches:
CLASS Website: The CLASS website will be the hub for all dissemination. It will provide the main public
access point for upcoming events, reports, and lessons learnt. This website will have an active blog which
will be regularly updated, enabling active participation. In addition to these features the website, will act as
the main repository for data and, will enable users to request access to the raw data collected during the
Project.
Video Podcast and Social Media: Electricity North West has developed a three part seminar series which will
educate the viewer at a basic level about the CLASS Project by providing video podcast tutorials on voltage
regulation technology and its potential for savings costs and carbon. Additional social media tools such as
LinkedIn and Twitter will be used in forming community groups and updating any interested parties on the
latest events and Project developments.
Internal Electricity North West Communications: Internal team briefing meetings will be held throughout the
Project to ensure that the progress and key learnings are shared across the wider organisation. At specific
points in CLASS, the Project team will submit articles to Electricity North West 's bimonthly magazine and
update the company intranet site to inform the wider organisation of the Project and the various elements
that build up the project. This will ensure that the knowledge, lessons learnt and project progress is
disseminated to all parts of the business.
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Lectures, Conferences & Dissemination Workshops: We are proposing to hold six dissemination workshops
throughout the Project lifecycle. We intend deliver three of these workshops through the normal conference
type arrangement, whilst for the remaining three dissemination workshops we will trial the use of webinars
as a means of disseminating and engaging with our stakeholders. At these workshops, the Project team will
discuss the progress being made to date and enable an environment for all interested parties to actively
participate. The Project team will also deliver presentations at a number of industry conferences and the
LCN Fund Annual Conference during the life of the Project.
Six Monthly Progress Reports: These reports, which go directly to Ofgem, will provide valuable information
on the progress being made by the Project; they will also be published on the CLASS website, The feedback
will be focused on the overall CLASS Project delivery and provide Ofgem with insight into the learning from
CLASS, that will help shape and continually improve the LCN Fund type Programmes
Press Releases: The Electricity North West press office will release a number of articles throughout the
Project highlighting CLASS, key events and outcomes.
Journal Articles: The Project will publish a three peer-reviewed journal articles on topics such as voltage
regulation techniques and the carbon footprint or demand response under smarter network designs during
the Project lifecycle.
Close out Report: A final close out report will be drafted and shared with all interested parties. The report
will present the key findings as well as lessons learnt in undertaking the CLASS Project
To ensure that we are providing the right groups with the right information we have defined, in table 4
overleaf, the key deliverables to be generated throughout the course of the CLASS Project, by Project
Partner, at each appropriate milestone. These represent examples of the key documents that will be
disseminated throughout the CLASS Project.
Management and Timing of Dissemination
All of the dissemination work will be managed through the Learning & Dissemination Workstream. The key
role of this Workstream is to ensure that the right deliverables are made available to the right audience
through the methodologies discussed above. The majority of learning will be disseminated in the latter
stages of the CLASS Project once all the data has been analysed and conclusions drawn, as is only
appropriate. But we aim to distribute at least one piece of key learning every 6 months. Our overall
approach in the collection and dissemination of knowledge is very pragmatic and tailored, making sure that
the right information is delivered to the right audience in the appropriate manner. This can be seen in table
5. Ensuring that we are able to effectively engage and convey the key learnings of something relatively
complex in a simple manner to any and all interested parties.
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Requested level of protection require against cost over-runs (%).
Requested level of protection against Direct Benefits that they wish to apply for (%).
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By applying proven technology in an innovative manner, engaging with diverse customer groups and our
experienced partners we have a high degree of confidence over delivery
Electricity North West is confident it is able to start CLASS in a timely manner due to the preparation that
has taken place pre-proposal, proposal and those that will take place should the submission be successful.
These factors are discussed in more detailed below but essentially can be summarised as the following:
Innovative Funding Incentive (IFI) Study and Scope of Work Reports
Partnership Consortium & Contractual Arrangements
Project Governance and Methodology Structure
Project Plan
Risks, Mitigation & Contingency Strategy
Use of existing infrastructure
Customer engagement
Project Costs and Direct Benefits.
IFI & Scope of Work Reports
CLASS was borne out of an Electricity North West `Proof of Concept' IFI funded project. The IFI Project
sought to understand at a high level whether or not there was a case for submitting the proposed novel
method of trialling dynamic voltage techniques as a Second Tier LCN Fund Project. It concluded how the
dynamic voltage regulation techniques identified could be trialled and the effects monitored to identify the
quantifiable and non-quantifiable benefits to Electricity North West its customers, and ability to facilitate the
GB transition to a low carbon economy. A number of feasibility and project preparation reports have been
produced by The University of Manchester, building upon the IFI Project, and these are briefly identified
below:
Selection of load measurement locations & data collection requirements for load modelling
Methodology for the selection of Primary substations
Quantification of the potential Electricity North West Network to provide MW and MVAr to GB
Feasibility study notes on system benefits from flexible transformer tap changer operation
Assessments of timing of transformer tap changers
Dynamic Response of Load
These reports have identified opportunities and enhanced CLASS's proposed methodology by building on
recent research in Conservation Voltage Reduction (CVR) in North America and the study undertaken by ESB
in Ireland. PB's review and validation of The University of Manchester's reports concluded that there is a
need to undertake the Project to prove the CLASS Method is viable in GB. In addition, CLASS will enhance
the work previously undertaken worldwide, whilst taking GB-specific factors into account. These factors are
expected to include GB (BEBS) specifications for existing Primary equipment, including on-load tap-changers
and, in particular, GB's customer load characteristics which differ from North America (with air conditioning
load) and Ireland, which has yet to migrate from traditional (tungsten filament) lighting to low energy
alternatives. PB also restated the necessity to consider how novel low carbon devices may also change GB's
CVR characteristics over the next several years. The reports developed by The University of Manchester and
validated by PB ensure that the outcomes extrapolated demonstrate that the Project is both statistically,
technically representative and credible for wider GB adoption. Finally the University of Manchester's
academic rigour, when combined with the Project Partners' industrial and commercial expertise, will ensure
that the Project will deliver on its objectives.
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Partnership Consortium & Contractual Arrangements
One of the key criteria for building a robust CLASS Project was in the selection of the relevant Project
Partners, and the forming of a strong dedicated consortium. Identification of our preferred Partners was
undertaken after a quasi-competitive tendering process had taken place, culminating in their selection by
members of the Electricity North West 's Future Networks Steering Group.
As part of the proposal, Electricity North West have ensured that the consortium is in a position where all
our Partners are aligned to the CLASS Project requirements, and are able to commit to and meet their scope
of work and defined deliverables. The work schedules that have been developed together with our Partners
ensure that CLASS is in a unique position to add the agreed work schedules to existing contractual
arrangements.
In addition, Electricity North West has received confirmation from our Partners regarding the Project Plan
(See Appendix E), financial costing, contributions and the provision of services/ products. One of the key
outcomes of this is that Electricity North West 's approach minimises time spent on agreeing contractual
agreements and ensures that the Project is ready to go once funding has been granted.
Programme Management and Governance
CLASS will use the standard Programme Management and Governance approach which has been enhanced
by undertaking the previously funded LCN Capacity to Customers Project. The Project governance structure
will ensure that CLASS meets and where possible exceeds the delivery criteria and milestones identified.
Project success will be achieved by the bottom-up proven governance methodology and the top-down
philosophy to be open, collaborative, and committed in getting it right first-time.
Ultimate Project direction will come from the Project Director, Mike Kay, Network Strategy Director of
Electricity North West. Key decisions and sign off will however be managed by a Project Steering
Committee, consisting of representatives of the various Project Partners. The Steering Group Committee will
sit above the Programme Management Office (PMO), and will have access to the day to day running of the
Project enabling them to make key informed decisions as to the strategic direction of CLASS.
Project Plan
The Project Plan sets out the approach that the CLASS Project team has determined to bring the highest
likelihood of success. The Plan identifies four Workstreams in addition to the mobilisation and close down
phases. The Plan is described below and shown diagrammatically in Figure 9, a more detailed version is in
Appendix E.
1. Mobilisation Phase: The mobilisation of both internal and external teams, as well as the retention of
those individuals across the Project delivery lifecycle is crucial to the successful start of CLASS. Within
Electricity North West we have identified two full time dedicated resources to the delivery of the Project,
managed by a full time Electricity North West Project Manager. The team will also receive significant
support from within the wider Future Networks and Capacity to Customers teams. All the Partners have
identified resources that will be dedicated to the CLASS Project.
2. Technology Build: During the Technology Build Workstream, all of the software and hardware will be
predominantly installed on Electricity North West 's estate with some ICT enhancements on National
Grid's. This Workstream sees the installation and configuration of the voltage regulation control systems,
network monitors, re-configuration of the RTU's and the development of ICT changes eg dashboard,
ICCP Link.
3. Trials: During the Trials Workstream voltage regulation techniques will be carried out as part of the
defined Test Regime, led by Electricity North West and involving National Grid via the use of the ICCP
link. Alongside the Test Regime five customer surveys will be completed by Impact Research from both
selected customers in the trial area and those that form part of the control group.
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4. Research: The Research Workstream will be led by The University of Manchester who will carry out the
research and analysis of data collected, to answer a number of key questions (ie Hypothesis) and deliver
a number of key learning's. The University of Manchester will publish these reports drawing conclusions
on the viability for a DNO to use the dynamic voltage regulation techniques to resolve the
aforementioned challenges
5. Learning & Dissemination: The Learning & Dissemination Workstream will incorporate all knowledge
dissemination activities from website development, recording of video podcasts to the presenting at
conferences. It's important to note that these activities are defined in internal and external dissemination
activities, via a number of tailored communication channels for the audiences CLASS has identified.
6. Close Down & Long Term Project Handover Phase: During this phase the CLASS Project will be wound
down, new equipment will be decommissioned and the Close Down Report drafted, approved and
published. Rather than decommission the network monitoring equipment at the end of the Project, it has
been agreed that the network monitoring equipment will be kept in service and the data will continue to
be made available to National Grid as part of a Long Term Monitoring Study, lasting 10 years.
National Grid, with support from The University of Manchester, will monitor how the voltage/ demand
relationships changes over time with the increase of renewable generation and low carbon technologies
connecting to the distribution network.
The Project Plan mitigates the identified risks as far as possible and provides a clear roadmap to steer and to
support the Project delivery team in achieving the relevant milestones on time and within budget.
Risks and Mitigation
Embedded within our Project management methodology is the capability to manage risks and issues. CLASS
will adopt the successful Risk and Issues process currently in operation within Electricity North West. The
Risk and Issues Model employed considers risks and issues that are business-as-normal and those
specifically related to the CLASS Project all of which will be articulated in a common format. Appendix D
outlines the risks that have been identified prior to the start of the CLASS Project. Within the risks model,
likelihood and consequences will each be given a score from 1 to 5, and the resulting product of these two
ratings used to score and rank the risks on the CLASS Project. The model has been used and refined for
many years and has been found to be both robust and recognised as an exemplar approach.
The format and description of the Electricity North West scoring matrix is presented in Appendix E. The
scoring matrix will be used by the PMO and Project Steering Committee to continually review Project risks,
their mitigating action(s) and controls, and to ensure that risks are managed in priority order. The risk
model describes the Methodology for determining an `uncontrolled' risk score. However, if control measures
are applied, aimed at reducing the hazard and/or mitigating the risk, it should be possible to produce a
`controlled' risk score that is lower than the `uncontrolled' risk.
Also in place is a risk escalation process which documents how certain risk types are escalated up through
the Project team. The governance processes to be operated across the Project Partners, will regularly review
risks and issues and either remove these if agreed mitigation has occurred and/or bring new issues or risks
to the attention of the Project Steering Committee.
The Committee will agree management actions, which may lead to the Project being halted until such time
as sufficient mitigation has occurred to enable on-going management of the risk or issue, or to halt the
Project and defer further commitment until agreement has been reached with Ofgem on how to proceed.
Mitigation and contingency management will form a key part of the risk strategy. When a risk is raised the
Project team will be responsible for creating a mitigation action that can be brought into play should the risk
be realised.
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Use of existing infrastructure
The CLASS Project investigates the novel application of dynamic voltage regulation using existing assets.
Wherever possible the CLASS Project re-uses infrastructure that have been developed and funded by other
means. For example, the CLASS Method will use the PowerOn Fusion hardware and software previously
funded in the Capacity to Customers Project; and the ICCP infrastructure funded by National Grid. This
increases the value for money of the CLASS Project, and facilitates the Project's readiness.
The uncertainty regarding the costs and installation of the Primary substation Voltage Controllers has been
de-risked from the knowledge gained during the sample site surveys undertaken by Electricity North West
and Siemens.
Customer Engagement
Throughout the bid preparation process Electricity North West has discussed customer engagement with
Impact Research, our customer survey provider, and three Retail Suppliers. We do not underestimate the
effort required to engage with customers in the Trial and these discussions has helped us scope out a
comprehensive approach to managing the customer relationship.
Project Costs and Direct Benefits
The CLASS Project costs have been calculated using input from the Project Partners and a finance resource
from Electricity North West . Where applicable the resource costs have been broken down to a day rate and
extrapolated over the period of the CLASS Project using the RPI forecast that Ofgem defined.
Within the overall cost calculation we have added an additional 7% as contingency against any potential
changes to costs as the Project continues. Benefits and costs have been put through Electricity North West's
internal investment appraisal process and approved.
The overall budget will be managed by a Management Accountant embedded in the CLASS Project team.
They will be responsible for managing all costs and constructing and delivering the reporting requirements
as part of the CLASS Project. Electricity North West will run a robust financial tracking and reporting system
in line with its current internal policies and frameworks. As per the Ofgem requirements the Project finances
will be held in a separate Project Bank Account which will meet the following requirements:
Show all transactions relating to (and only to) the CLASS Project;
Be capable of supplying a real time statement (of transactions and current balance) at any time;
Accrue expenditures when a payment is authorised (and subsequently reconciled with the actual bank
account);
Accrue payments from the moment the receipt is advised to the bank (and then subsequently reconciled
with the actual bank account);
Calculate a daily total; and Calculate interest on the daily total according to the rules applicable to the
account within which the funds are actually held.
Electricity North West will engage with our auditors, Deloitte, to alert them of their potential
responsibilities should CLASS be awarded the funding.
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Put a cross in the box if the Project may require any derogations, consents or changes to the regulatory
arrangements.
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Regulatory Impact
We do not expect that the CLASS Project will require any derogation, licence consent or licence exemption.
CLASS explores increasing the flexibility of the existing network assets to trial new techniques for the active
management of the distribution network. The learning from the Trials will allow the CLASS Project team to
contribute to updating of the Planning Standard, NETS SQSS.
Long Term Monitoring Study and NETS SQSS
The CLASS Method will investigate the demand response delivered by a decrease or increase in network
voltage. National Grid's Planning Standard, NETS SQSS was originally drafted using data collected by the
nationalized industry. The data collected in the Trials will allow the planning standard to be brought up to
date. National Grid has agreed to fund the operation and maintenance of the network monitoring equipment
and the collection and analysis of data for a further 10 years after the CLASS Project is closed down,
allowing the planning standard and modeling assumptions to be periodically updated and changes in
demand response to be tracked.
Long Term Regulatory Impact
In the longer term CLASS could have profound implications on the operation of distribution network and the
involvement of customers in its operation, especially in the development of centrally managed demand
response. The potential longer term impact on the regulatory regime applied to network operators is
significant with the following areas seeing change:
Regulatory regime for load related capital expenditure;
Losses regulatory incentive mechanism;
National Terms of Connection within Distribution Connection and Use of System Code (DCUSA);
Distribution and Grid Codes;
Future opportunities to provide services into the Balancing Services market and the regulatory treatment
of such network services; and
Future DSO operational management.
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Customers within the CLASS Project
The CLASS Method will be trialled on 60 Primary substations located across Electricity North West's network
involving about 350 000 customers. Trial sites will be identified as part of the site selection methodology,
from which the various customer types will be highlighted. By having identified the affected customer types
in the CLASS Trials, Electricity North West as part of the customer engagement plan will segment these
customers into three groupings that will be indirect or directly involved:
1. Customers in the Trial area
2. Customers in the Trial area who will participate in the customer survey; CLASS will target the
participation of 250 domestic and 100 industrial and commercial customers in the year long survey.
3. Customers outside the Trial area but in the Control Group who will participate in the customer survey;
CLASS will target the participation of 250 domestic and 100 industrial and commercial customers in the
yearlong survey.
Electricity North West understands that without the support and buy-in of our customers, the Project will not
succeed. For this reason CLASS will ensure the customer journey is a good experience by being: informative
and easily understood; timely in its response; and accurate in the messages, learning and outputs that the
Project conveys. Throughout the Project, Electricity North West will engage with all Trial customers via a
number of tailored communication channels and mediums (ie written and Audio & Visual) to explain the
CLASS Project, to provide a basic understanding of demand response and the low carbon agenda, and why
it's important. The main engagement with the three customer groups will occur during the Trials
Workstream of the Project. A more detailed impact assessment is provided by further analysing the
customer groups, the method of sampling, recruitment process, and interviewing process.
Customer Groups
Customers in the Trial area
Electricity North West will publicise the CLASS Project, the Trials and the Trial sites using a range of multi-
media communication channels. Press articles in local newspapers will raise the awareness of the CLASS
Project. The Electricity North West and CLASS websites will contain information from the scope of the
Project to the Trials, the Trial areas, how to get involved, and how best to get into contact with the CLASS
Project team. Additional supporting material such as customer pamphlets will also be created to convey the
key message of CLASS being non-intrusive and not requiring any planned interruption to any customers in
the Trial area.
Customers inside the Trial area and customers in the Control Group who participate in the Customer Survey
Understanding whether customers notice a change in their electricity supply during the Trials is crucial to
the viability of the CLASS Solution. The Project will therefore seek customers inside the Trial area to
participate in a series of customer surveys throughout the length of the Trial period. In addition, CLASS will
identify a Control Group outside the Trial area that will also participate in the customer surveys. The aim of
the survey is to answer hypothesis 2 (Customers within the CLASS trial areas will not see/observe/notice an
impact on the power quality when the demand response and reactive power absorption are being provided).
The customer surveys will be structured to tease out whether the customer has noticed a change in the
electricity supply with the Control Group results being used to baseline the placebo effect. We will ask
customers to complete five surveys throughout the Trial period. The timing of each survey is matched to the
test regime, and cost-effectively incentives the customers to partake in the Project. The scope and design of
the customer surveys will be developed and piloted with a small group of customers prior to it roll-out; this
is a direct learning from the Capacity to Customers Project's customer engagement undertaken this year.
The robust and value for money process we have identified as part of the proposal to engage with customers
within and outside the trial area is summarised in Figure 10 below.
Method & Sampling
The method used to engage with customers has been carefully considered based on previous experience on
other LCN Fund Projects. Letter drops and other such postal type methods generate low interest and could
potentially lead to self-selection bias. A face-to-face methodology would result in high participation rates but
will prove to be expensive and therefore not offer value for money. An online approach will potentially
increase bias, and retention rates would significantly be reduced. A good compromise between value for
money, representativeness and high rates of participation is telephone research.
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The target is to achieve 700 recruits to take part in all stages of the research. This will be split 350 within
the Trial area (ie the Trial Group) and 350 outside the trial area (ie the Control Group).
The higher the sample size, the lower the margin of error for a given statistic. The marginal rate, at which
the margin of error improves with higher sample sizes, gradually diminishes (as illustrated in Figure 11 ).
This means there is an optimal point where the costs of obtaining extra sample outweighs the improvements
of margin of error. Looking at the curve in Figure 11 the most cost effective and value for money sample
size lies between 100 and 150 for analysing results between sub-groups. This means drawing comparisons
between Industrial & Commercial (I&C) customers (100 `Trial' and 100 `Control') with that of domestic
customers (250 `Trial' and 250 `Control') will deliver results that are both credible and representative at a
GB level. Additional work and analysis will also supplement these results by for example drilling down
further by region or demographics.
There will be five occasions when respondents will take part in the research (including the initial recruitment
phase). For each occasion, all respondents will take part in the research within a two week period. The first
occasion, will be for recruitment, and the proceeding four occasions will be during the trial period. The
illustration in Figure 12 shows the interview process.
Recruitment Process
The recruitment process would be as follows:
Domestic household customers and Industrial & Commercial customers within the North West region
would be selected according to whether they fall within the Trial area or outside of it.
Domestic customers selected in the `Trial' and `Control' will be matched by ACORN classification (Geo-
demographic based on census data and lifestyle surveys) to eliminate bias as a result of demographic,
social and regional factors.
Industrial & Commercial customers selected in the `Trial' and `Control' will be matched by SIC and by
how core `energy' is for their day to day functioning (e.g. a local supermarket with fridges will have a
different perception of the importance of electricity vs. a small office).
The target sample size for the whole trial period is 700 interviews with quotas of 350 `Trial' and 350
`Control'.
Electricity North West's and Impact Research's experience from similar projects imply there will be a drop-
off rate of around 7% for domestic customers and 15% for industrial and commercial customers during the
Trial period, CLASS will therefore oversample by c.7% and c.15% respectively to take this into account.
Maximizing participation
There is substantial value that CLASS delivers by resolving a number of key challenges already identified, it
is therefore crucial to ensure that the Project is credible and robust in the customer surveys undertaken and
that the risk of non-participation is minimal. This will be done by:
Simple and accurate messaging will help drive the recruitment, engagement and participation of
customers in completing the required surveys. For domestic customers, any long periods of absence
from their home will be recorded and if this exceeds 6 weeks in a row, they will be excluded from the
study. This may include household respondents who are intending to move home or go abroad for an
extended period.
Using effective language with recruitment scripts and follow-up letters, to demonstrate to respondents
what an important contribution they are making as a result of their participation.
CLASS provides cost-effective incentives that encourage participation to the end. Each respondent will be
provided with £150 incentive if they participate throughout the Trial period. Based on previous
experience, this is the best balance between value for money and relatively low drop-out rate. This will
be structured as follows:
Initial £50 on recruitment; and
£25 for each additional interview (ie four throughout the year).
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For Industrial & Commercial customers, they will have an option of a personal incentive or a charity
donation.
Regardless of all the steps taken to ensure participation, there will inevitably be respondents that won't
take part following on from initial recruitment; reasons for this may vary. However by over-sampling by
7% and 15% respectively, CLASS ensures that the Project concludes with a robust, credible and
representative sample at the end of the Trials.
The Interviewing Process
Recruitment stage. An initial 15 minute telephone survey will introduce the research objectives to
participants and the incentive structure to gain buy-in. The survey will broadly cover current behaviours on
energy usage, including types of appliances used and frequency of usage. For domestic customers,
additional details will be captured including the participant's life stage, employment status and other factors
that will help add value to the analysis of results. In addition, general information on any shift patterns to
determine when the respondent is likely to be at home will be captured as well. For Industrial & Commercial
customers, additional details on company size, nature of business, the importance of energy for day to day
running of the business will be captured. Electricity North West and Impact Research will undertake a pilot
survey to test and enhance the materials created for the customer engagement and the survey.
Tests will be conducted throughout the year. Respondents will be interviewed on four occasions during these
tests to cover seasonality. The bulk of the interviews would take place within two weeks of a Trial having
taking place to ensure a high level of recall of any events as a result. In order to ensure maximum
participation, respondents may be contacted up to four weeks following a test (the exact date of when the
interview takes place will be recorded).
It is inevitable that respondents may not have been present during these tests. Rather than to only report
on when respondents were definitely present during the test, comparisons of Trial vs. Control will be
performed regardless of whether they would be present or not. This is a true reflection of real life being
tested, providing the most representative results. Furthermore, there could still be evidence of disturbances
in the house even if the respondent was not present (such as clocks being re-set). In any case the data
captured will also include whether respondents were present during the test periods, and analysis can be
performed by these if necessary.
For Domestic Customers: Once households are chosen, the person responsible (or jointly responsible) for
paying the household's utility bills will be the target respondent. The risk of this person moving will be
minimised at the recruitment stage (e.g. by asking whether they are intending to move within the next
year). If the target respondent moves house, the replacement will be recruited to take part in the Trial.
There is a risk the replacement will not want to take part in the Trial; in this instance the data collected from
the initial respondent can still be used.
For Industrial & Commercial Customers: Once the companies to be interviewed are identified, the person
responsible for choosing utility suppliers and/or responsible for electricity contracts will be the target
respondent. If the target respondent changes job or leaves, the replacement will be recruited to take part in
the Trial. As with the households, there is a risk the replacement will not want to take part in the Trial; in
this instance the data collected from the initial respondent can still be used.
Managing Customer Enquiries
The successful and smooth customer journey in CLASS from project start to finish is critical and central to
Electricity North West's philosophy of the customer being at the heart of the business. For this reason CLASS
has selected a number of communication channels that will ensure that the management of customer
questions/queries is responsive, confidential and convenient.
Customers can ask questions or raise queries related to the CLASS Project using the following channels:
Telephone - Electricity North West operates an enquiry service that is continuously staffed and can be
contacted 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week on 0800 1954141. Customers will be required to select the `Low
Carbon Network Fund Enquiries' option once the automated Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is active.
SMS - For customers wishing to receive a call back service, an SMS can be sent to dedicated number
quoting “CLASS”, this will ensure an Electricity North West representative will call the customer back as soon
as possible.
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CLASS website - The CLASS website will be the main source of information for the CLASS Project for our
stakeholders and customers. Every aspect of the CLASS Project will be hosted on this site, including all
customer focused information (eg Trial area, customer pamphlets, contact details, FAQs etc) will be posted
on the site and available to download.
Written Correspondence - Customers can contact the CLASS Project team by sending a letter to the
following address:
CLASS Project Team
Frederick Road
Salford
M6 6QH
Or customers can contact the CLASS Project team at the following email address quoting “CLASS” in the
subject heading: futurenetworks@enwl.co.uk
Customer Engagement Plan
CLASS has developed, as part of the proposal, a robust customer engagement plan, which identifies the
outcomes that need to be achieved, and therefore the key incentives, messages and methods by which they
are to be communicated. The engagement plan developed with Impact Research and Electricity North West's
Partners identifies through the various Workstreams, key engagement points with customers; from
informing them of the Projects objectives, to providing them with Project closure report links. Our Customer
Engagement Plan (detailed in Appendix 7) follows the principle of ensuring that the customer feels valued
and part of the success of the Project. It should be noted that this Engagement Plan has been developed
using the learning from the previous LCN Funded Projects and in conjunction with Impact Research.
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Evidence (9.1)
Criterion (9.1)
Section 9: Succesful Delivery Reward Criteria
Evidence (9.2)
Criterion (9.2)
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Technology Build Workstream
1. Publish the design of the regulation scheme for substation Voltage Controllers by February 2014;
2. Publish the site selection report including the methodology by August 2013
3a. Network monitoring equipment installed and commissioned by March 2014;
3c. Publish the commissioning reports by April 2014
3d. Technology go-live by April 2014;
4a. ICCP installed and commissioned by March 2014;
4b. Publish the ICCP commissioning reports by April 2014.
Technology Build Workstream
1. Design regulation scheme for substation Voltage Controllers by December 2013;
2. Selected the sites for installing Voltage Controllers and monitoring equipment by June 2013
3. All hardware including substation controllers, and monitoring equipment communications infrastructure
installed and commissioned by March 2014;
4. Design, build, test and commission ICCP Link between Electricity North West's and National Grid's Control
Centres by March 2014.
Trials Workstream
1. Publish on CLASS website map of Trial area by September 2013;
2. Publish on CLASS website Trials and test regime report in January 2014;
3. Baseline customer survey initiated in April 2014;
4. Publish on CLASS website an initial capability report for all the Trial scenarios by September 2014;
5. Evidence of test Trial data transferred by July 2014.
Trials Workstream
1. Trial area selected by June 2013;
2. Trials and test regime design completed by December 2013;
3. Live Trials commence in April 2014;
4. Tested the capability of the voltage control system for all Trial scenarios by May 2015;
5. Transfer Trials data every quarter with all Trials data transferred to The University of Manchester by
June 2015.
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Evidence (9.4)
Criterion (9.4)
Evidence (9.3)
Criterion (9.3)
9: Succesful delivery reward criteria contd.
ENWLT204/01
Research Workstream
1. Publish on CLASS website Interim and Final Network Modelling and Analysis Reports by January 2015 and
September 2015 respectively;
2. Publish on CLASS website Interim and Final Profile Modelling Study by January 2015 and September 2015
respectively;
3. Publish on CLASS website Interim and Final Asset Health Study Report by January 2015 and September
2015 respectively;
4. Publish on CLASS website Customer Survey Report by September 2015;
5. Publish on CLASS website NETS SQSS Change Proposal Report by June 2015.
Research Workstream
1. Deliver the Network Modelling Reports by September 2015;
2. Deliver the Voltage Profile Modelling Reports by September 2015;
3. Deliver the Asset Health Study Report by September 2015;
4. Deliver Customer Survey Report by September 2015;
5. Develop change proposals for NETS SQSS by June 2015.
Customer Engagement
1. Send for approval the Customer Engagement Plan and Data Privacy Statement to Ofgem by July 2013;
2. Publish on CLASS website customer marketing/ campaign materials by September 2013;
3. First customer workshops held by October 2013; workshops completed by December 2013
4. Publish on CLASS website Control Group and Trial area customer communication by January 2014;
5. Customer surveys completed, with an initial summary report published by June 2015.
Customer Engagement
1. Create the Customer Engagement Plan and Data Privacy Statement by July 2013;
2. Produce customer marketing/ campaign materials by January 2014;
3. Deliver the Customer Survey Pilot workshop by March 2014;
4. Control Group and Trial area customers identified and first communication pamphlets distributed in
February 2014, subsequent forms of communication will be delivered as per Project Plan;
5. Customer surveys completed by June 2015.
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Evidence (9.6)
Criterion (9.6)
Evidence (9.5)
Criterion (9.5)
9: Succesful delivery reward criteria contd.
ENWLT204/01
Close Down & Long Term Monitoring Study
1. Provide confirmation from National Grid that the long term monitoring study has been initiated.
Close Down & Long Term Monitoring Study
1. Produce a close down report and initiate a long term monitoring study with National Grid.
Learning & Dissemination Workstream
1. Publish on CLASS website first Video Podcast by September 2013;
2. CLASS website and Social Media Forums is live by September 2013;
3. Active participation at Annual LCN Fund Conference, and first Webinar and Learning Event held by
April 2014 with others to follow as per Project Plan;
4. Raw monitoring data is downloadable from CLASS website by September 2014.
Learning & Dissemination Workstream
1. Produce first Video Podcast of the series by September 2013 with the remaining to follow as
per Project Plan;
2. Develop and launch the CLASS Project Website and Social Media Forums by September 2013;
3. First Annual LCN Fund Conference attended and first Webinar and Learning Event held by April 2014, with
others to follow as per Project Plan;
4. Raw monitoring data is initially made available on demand by September 2014, and updated per season.
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Evidence (9.8)
Criterion (9.8)
Evidence (9.7)
Criterion (9.7)
9: Succesful delivery reward criteria contd.
ENWLT204/01
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Section 10: List of Appendices
ENWLT204/01
The list below details the appendices, including a short explanation of each:
Appendix A Indicative Site Location Map
This appendix shows the indicative locations for Primary substations selected for the
CLASS Project, from applying the Site Selection Methodology.
Appendix B Site Selection Methodology
This appendix details the method, developed by The University of Manchester and
Electricity North West, for selecting the Primary substations for the CLASS Project.
Appendix C CLASS Technical Description
This appendix describes at a high level the technical architecture, features and
operating methods of the CLASS Project.
Appendix D Risks and Issue Register and Contingency
This appendix outlines Electricity North West's Risks and Issues methodology. The
risks, issues, mitigating actions and the contingency arrangements are detailed for the
CLASS Project.
Appendix E Detailed Project Plan
This appendix details the Project Plan for the delivery of the CLASS Project.
Appendix F Organogram
This appendix details the management structure for delivery of the CLASS Project,
highlighting the main deliverables for each of the four Workstreams and where the
Project Partners contribute to their delivery.
Appendix G Project Partner Details
This appendix describes each Project Partner, its roles and responsibilities in the
delivery of the CLASS Project. In addition the details on the ownership and contractual
relationship with Electricity North West and its financial contribution to CLASS are
described.
Appendix H Base Case Costs & Carbon Impact Methodology
This appendix contains the methodology for the calculation of the Base Case Costs and
the Executive Summary of the Tyndall Centre's Carbon Impact Report.
Appendix I Indicative Customer Engagement Plan
This appendix contains the draft Customer Engagement Plan for the planned customer
communications during the delivery of the CLASS Project.
Appendix J Letters of support from Project Partners
This appendix contains a letter of support from all of our Project Partners. The support
letters indicate the innovation of CLASS detailing each Partners' commitment to the
CLASS Project.
Appendix K CLASS Full Submission spreadsheet
This appendix is the Full Submission Workbook for the CLASS Project. This will be
appended in a separate document.
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