Notes on completion
Before completing this form, please refer to the LCN Fund Governance Document.
Please use the default font (Verdana size 10) in your submission, the text entry areas
are predetermined and should not be changed. Please ensure all content is contained
within the boundaries of the text areas. The full-completed submission should not
exceed 9 pages
in total.
Ofgem will publish all the information contained within the Screening submission.
DNO Group
Participant DNOs
DNO area
Project title
Project summary
Estimated Project funding
Please provide an approximate figure of the total cost of the project and the LCN funding you are applying for.
Total cost of Project
LCN funding
Low Carbon Networks Fund
Screening Submission Pro-forma
SSE plc
Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution
North of Scotland
PATHS - Powering Agriculture, Transport and Heat Sustainably
PATHS is a collaborative, stakeholder driven project demonstrating an integrated
approach to energy management which will:
- reduce 'power miles' and related energy losses
- reduce connection costs and timescales for renewable energy developments
- integrate and decarbonise heat, power and transport energy systems
- inform the development of new commercial arrangements
- permanently resolve network constraints, not just delay investment
PATHS will integrate local renewable energy production with energy storage and
demand side management to meet local heat, power and transport needs, minimising
the distance over which energy is transported. The vector used will be hydrogen.
The project will provide the electrical and communications infrastructure for the UK's
first renewable hydrogen hub. Excess renewable energy will be harvested to produce
hydrogen for two main uses: injection into the gas network to reduce the carbon
content of gas helping to decarbonise heat, and to fuel a fleet of hydrogen buses being
introduced by two Councils. Energy will be sourced from a large scale offshore wind
farm, the first of its size to be connected to the 33kV distribution system; smaller
sources will also contribute, operated by farmers who will also use hydrogen on site.
PATHS involves local and international partners and is the first LCNF project to feature
collaboration with a gas distribution company (Scotland Gas Networks).
Please provide a narrative which explains the Problem(s) which the Project is seeking to address.
Please describe the Method(s) which are being trialled. Please outline how the Method(s) could solve the Problem. The type of
Method should be identified where possible e.g. technical or commercial.
Problem 1
Inaccessible distribution assets
The obligation to offer firm connections for the full capacity of generation developments,
combined with the current security of supply standard (Engineering Recommendation
P2/6,) results in renewable generation often being forced onto the transmission
In many cases local demand, if combined with appropriate energy management
techniques, would be capable of absorbing the majority of energy produced by the
development. However, Generators are denied choice in the way they connect to the
network, leading to potentially higher costs and extended connection timescales.
Problem 2
Unnecessary 'power miles'
There is currently a lost opportunity to connect at distribution level and and allow
energy to be used close to where it is generated, leading to unnecessary 'power miles'
being accrued as energy takes a circuitous route via the transmission system to meet
Problem 3
Lack of integration of energy systems
Current industry arrangements do not support a holistic approach to transport, heat and
power. The synergies between the various systems are not being exploited.
Problem 4
Challenges of decarbonising heat
The Carbon Plan acknowledges that many of the options being considered for
decarbonising heat will take several decades to implement and will require extensive
new infrastructure to be developed at local level, or disruptive work to be undertaken in
or around homes.
Problem 5
Challenges of decarbonising agriculture
The Carbon Plan identifies agriculture as a 'hard-to-treat sector' and emphasises the
need for testing a range of solutions to reduce its carbon intensity
Accommodating large scale renewable energy generation on a distribution
network and reducing power miles
PATHS will use hydrogen-based energy storage technology to manage the output of a
large renewable energy development such that it can connect to the local 33kV
distribution system. The development will directly power local homes and businesses
significantly reducing 'power miles' and associated network losses.
Commercial arrangements to facilitate this will be developed by applying learning
gained from SSE's Registered Power Zone on Orkney, which in 2009 became Britain's
first smart grid, and several of SSE's LCNF Tier 1 projects and from experience gained
from the Northern Isles New Energy Solutions (NINES) project on Shetland. We will also
engage with other DNOs to learn from their experiences.
Method(s) continued
Funding commentary
Provide a commentary on the accuracy of your funding estimate. If the Project has phases, please identify the approximate
cost of each phase
Specific Requirements (please tick which of the specific requirements this project fulfils)
A specific piece of new (i.e. unproven in GB) equipment (including control and communications
systems and software) that has a Direct Impact on the Distribution System)
A novel arrangement or application of existing Distribution System equipment (including control and
communications systems software)
A novel operational practice directly related to the operation of the Distribution System
A novel commercial arrangement
Integrating agriculture, heat and transport energy systems
PATHS will exploit the synergies that exist between electrical power, agriculture,
transport and heat by facilitating their integration.
PATHS will show local energy needs can be met by integrating locally-produced
renewable energy, small scale embedded generation and energy storage facilities to
provide a sustainable and secure supply of energy.
Using hydrogen as a vector, PATHS will manage renewable energy on a distribution
system; begin to decarbonise heat; and support moves to decarbonise public transport
by facilitating the production of fuel for a new fleet of hydrogen buses.
Decarbonising heat
PATHS will involve the transfer of energy from the electrical network to the gas network
through injection of hydrogen created using peak renewable energy production. In
addition to reducing the strain on the electricity network, the project will reduce the
carbon content of gas used to heat homes and businesses. This will be achieved by
working with Scotland Gas Networks, and applying techniques previously proven safe
and effective in Europe. The decarbonisation of heat by this method will make use of
existing gas and electricity infrastructure and provide a way of making gas more
sustainable over the next few decades.
The project will be implemented in three overlapping phases, allowing the development
of the separate elements of the project in accordance with their individual timescales
while allowing the overall project to progress.
Phase 1 - facilitating the development of an electrolyser at a 10MW farm-based wind
farm, with the hydrogen output used to fuel hydrogen buses.
Phase 2 - connecting a large scale renewable energy source to the distribution network
on a managed basis, facilitated by hydrogen storage, with the hydrogen used to fuel
buses and for injection to the gas grid.
Phase 3 - increasing the volume of hydrogen produced from renewable energy to
further reduce the carbon footprint of agriculture, transport and heat and for use in
stand by generation.
The project costs are based on assessments made by our in house specialists and our
project partners; their accuracy will be further refined prior to final submission. The
project will leverage funding from local, national and European sources.
Accelerates the development of a low carbon energy sector & has the potential to
deliver net financial benefits to existing and/or future customers. Merged evaluation
criteria, as set out in decision letter.
The DNO must demonstrate that the Solution makes a contribution to the Carbon Plan and has the potential to deliver
financial benefits.
Has a Direct Impact on the operation of the distribution network
A Second Tier Project must demonstrate that the Method(s) being trialled will have a Direct Impact (as defined in v.4 of the
Governance Document) on the operation of a DNO's Distribution System.
Generate knowledge that can be shared amongst all network operators
The DNO must explain the learning which it expects the Method(s) it is trialling to deliver. The DNO must demonstrate that it
has a robust methodology in place to capture the learning from the Trial(s).
Accommodating large scale renewable energy generation on a distribution
network and reducing power miles
The distribution system will host a large scale generation source and use demand side
management and energy storage to manage energy flows to ensure a secure,
sustainable and locally sourced energy supply for the local area.
Integrated management of energy systems
For the first time, a DNO will liaise directly with gas network operators and transport
managers to provide an effective integrated approach to local energy management.
This will introduce a new set of challenges in managing the network in order to meet
the requirements of the heat and transport sectors.
On a day to day basis, our active network management scheme will integrate data and
signals from agriculture, transport and heat systems to optimise the harvesting and
maximise the local use of renewable generation.
Decarbonising agriculture, transport and heat
The use of electrolysers on the distribution system allows 'excess' renewable energy to
be harvested in a cost effective way and diverted to other energy systems where there
is local demand for low carbon energy: agriculture, transport and heat.
Creation of new planning and design standards
PATHS will generate numerous changes to operational documents to reflect the
requirements of the electricity, transport and heat sectors.
PATHS will answer questions key to the development of low carbon networks:
Accommodating large scale renewable energy generation on a distribution
network and reducing power miles
To what extent can large scale renewable generation sources be accommodated on
distribution networks?
How are losses, power quality, network utilisation and standards of performance
affected by the Method?
Integrating agriculture, transport and heat
What is the scope for integrating sustainable agriculture, transport and heat systems
with distribution system management?
What changes are required to industry standards, regulation and operational practices
to facilitate the integration of energy systems?
Decarbonising heat
Can hydrogen injection play an effective role in decarbonising heat and how can the
approach be implemented sustainably in the UK?
We will engage experts in knowledge management to ensure all learning is extracted
from the project and will share it via a professionally planned and managed learning
and communication strategy which includes dissemination via a range of media (online
resources, publications, conferences, seminars and mentoring).
Please tick if the project conforms to the default IPR arrangements set out in
the LCN Fund Governance Document?
If the DNO wishes to deviate from the default requirement for IPR then it must demonstrate how the learning will be
disseminated to other DNOs.
Focus on Methods that are at the trialling stage
Demonstrate why you have not previously used this Solution (including where the Solution involves commercial
arrangements) and why LCN funding is required to undertake it. This must include why you would not run the trial as part of
your normal course of business and why the Solution is not R&D.
Foreground IPR will be treated in accordance with LCNF Tier 2 governance.
Whilst all technologies proposed have been proven in different markets or industries,
they have not been applied to distribution networks in the UK before. The present
DPCR5 business plan, as agreed with Ofgem, does not support the deployment of the
solutions identified here.
These solutions are expected to be cost effective in comparison with traditional network
investment, however the following risks would mean it would be difficult to run this trial
as part of our normal course of business:
- Higher costs associated with technologies that are not yet used in volume
- Uncertainty of network behaviour when these technologies are deployed at scale
- Interactions between different aspects of the project especially with other sectors
such as transport or heat
- Longevity and sustain ability of the commercial arrangements that will be put in place
Finally, the policies, procedures and business practices are not in place to
deliver this kind of project as 'business as usual'. To introduce the revolutionary
approach to integrating intermittent renewables with existing electrical demand as well
as the transport and heat sectors would be extremely difficult without LCNF.
Project Partners and external resourcing/funding
The DNO should provide details of any Project Partners who will be actively involved in the Project and are prepared to devote
time, resources and/or funding to the Project. If the DNO has not identified any specific Project Partners, it should provide
details of the type of Project Partners it wishes to attract to the Project.
Derogations or exemptions
The DNO should outline if they consider that the Project will require any derogations, exemptions or changes to the regulatory
PATHS partners have been chosen so that SHEPD can focus on distribution network
innovation, while the project partners play to their individual strengths.
Scotland Gas Networks will be the first gas distribution network operator to play a
role in a Low Carbon Networks Fund project.
BOC plc and Wood Group plc will bring their industrial process experience to the
project. Local partners include Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeen Renewable
Energy Group.
Technical excellence will be contributed by Smarter Grid Solutions, who have worked
on projects including the Orkney Registered Power Zone and the NINES project in
Shetland. Consultants Element Energy are helping to scope the project and secure
third party funding.
Commercial sensitivities mean that all partners, including those who will operate the
hydrogen-fuelled buses, will be identified only at full bid submission stage.
PATHS will have no effect on Relevant Customers as defined in the LCNF Governance
Document and is designed such that all parties affected by its implementation are
partners in the project. Thus we do not anticipate any derogations/exemptions will be
required for our project.
We aim to confirm and/or clarify the statement above at the Bid Submission stage.
Customer impact
The DNO should outline any planned interaction with Customers or Customer’s premises as part of the Project, and any other
direct customer impact (such as amended contractual or charging arrangements, or supply interruptions).
Please use the following section to add any further detail you feel may support your
PATHS is designed such that all Customers affected by its implementation are partners
in the project and participate on a voluntary basis. These relationships will be
formalised via contracts, either directly or via energy suppliers or aggregators (as
No supply interruptions are anticipated as a result of SHEPD undertaking PATHS.
Community Inspired
PATHS is inspired by the UK-wide interest in the development of cross-sector
approaches to energy management. SHEPD has developed the project following
discussions with communities, local authorities, NGOs, government bodies, gas
companies and technology firms across the country, who are all keen to exploit the
sustainability benefits that can be derived from integrating agriculture, transport and
Playing to strengths
By involving a range of industry-leading partners, PATHS allows its collaborators to play
to their strengths - transport companies operating buses, a gases expert producing
hydrogen, farmers managing their own fuel needs - while SHEPD focuses on creating an
electricity network that allows the carbon-reducing potential of all these technologies to
be realised.
Maximising value
PATHS will form a foundation for the development of a replicable integrated solution to
permanently resolve network constraints by diverting excess renewable energy to other
energy systems. It will build on the knowledge generated by numerous IFI and LCNF
Tier 1 projects and maximise the value of the learning from those projects, taking the
industry's understanding of multiple energy system integration to a new level.
Contact name
Contact Address
Direct telephone line
Job title
Frank Clifton
Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution
Inveralmond House
200 Dunkeld Road
01738 456237
Project Development Manager
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