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First Tier Pro-forma
Project title
Participant DNOs
Project summary
Please provide a narrative which explains the Problem(s) which being addressed by the Project.
Registration Date
SSET1010 - Impact of Electrolysers on the Distribution Network
Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution (SHEPD)
This project seeks to improve understanding of the potential impact that hydrogen electrolysers
will have on the electricity distribution network and explore the extent to which this technology
can be used to manage network constraints in the future. To date, DNOs have focussed on
electric vehicle (EV) connections when exploring potential impacts of low carbon transport.
However, there is growing evidence (e.g. from Department forTransport) to suggest that
hydrogen will play an increasingly significant role in this area in future. Consequently, increasing
numbers of electrolyser connections may be expected. By participating in the wider Aberdeen
Hydrogen Project, this Tier 1 project will enable us to assess the network impacts of electrolysers,
investigate how impacts can be minimised and explore if these devices have the potential to
provide other network services. During the project, a series of operating scenarios and models will
be developed and trialled. The project will:
Gain an understanding of the practical and technical characteristics of a hydrogen electrolyser.
Gain an understanding of the hydrogen electrolyser's operating profiles and its impact on peak
electricity demands.
Look at the operational and commercial strategies required to minimise any disruptive impact of
these devices on the electricity distribution network particularly in relation to peak demand while also
considering the commercial needs of the customer.
Assess the extent to which electrolysers have the potential to offer a service to the network
operator to help manage and alleviate other network constraints.
The primary problem addressed is the increased network investment required to accommodate
additional demand from the potential future volume of electrolysers connected to the network.
We anticipate they will have a cumulative impact similar to EVs but with more focus on the HV
network. A UK Government study (UKH2Mobility) anticipates this could add up to 350MW of new
demand by 2030. Based on current estimates from DECC/Ofgem Smart Grid Forum Work Stream
3 transform model, this could result in over £160m of network reinforcement. This increase in
the number of electrolysers, while presenting a demand growth challenge in its own right, is likely
to appear alongside other disruptive low carbon technologies e.g. heat pumps. The use of
electrolysers to provide a network service could be a method of managing some of the challenges
posed by these other devices.
Problem 1 - There is limitted understanding on the technical characteristics of a hydrogen
electrolyser and the factors that will influence their potential location.
Scope and Objectives
Please describe the scope and objectives of the Project should be clearly defined including the benefits which should directly
accrue to the Distribution System.
Success Criteria
Please give details of how the DNO will evaluate whether the Project has been successful.
This section should set out the Method or Methods that will be trialled in order to solve the Problem. The type of Method
should be identified where possible e.g. technical or commercial.
Problem(s) continued
Problem 2 - There is limited information on the actual performance of electrolyser systems and
their impact on the electrical network, in particular their likely demand profiles.
Problem 3 There in no information on the ability of an electrolyser to act as controllable demand
to allow comparison with other methods of demand management.
Problem 4 - There is no information on the contractual or technical integration of the electrolyser
equipment with the electrical network in order to mitigate its unmanaged potential impact i.e. to
understand the extent to which electrolysers have the potential to offer a service to the network
operator to help manage and alleviate other network constraints
Both technical and commercial methods will apply learning gained elsewhere e.g. from SHEPD's
Orkney smart grid, and from the NINES project on Shetland. We will also engage with other DNOs
and appropriate experts in this area to learn from their experiences.
Method 1 - Working with the Electrolyser Operator to investigate applicable codes, standards
and regulations which need to be factored into the siting decision. Electrical and constraint
modelling to identify network impact based on manufacturer-stated characteristics. Consultation
with internal and external parties relating to consenting process to capture learning from site
identification and consenting process.
Method 2 - Analytical comparison of a variety of scenarios for the connection and running of the
electrolyser will be used to understand the impact on the electricity distribution network. Trials will
be undertaken to monitor and assess the electrolyser's response to real and simulated network
conditions. Investigation and summation of applicable learning from past projects and various
suppliers to quantify the expected performance and value of the network service.
Method 3 - Develop further operational scenarios using ANM system to investigate how the
impact of electrolysers on the electricity network can be minimised.
Method 4 - Evaluate trial results to assess what potential electrolysers have to provide other
network services.
Scope: To design and test an operational system for the safe, efficient operation of an
electrolyser connected to the distribution network and establish a commercial framework for
carrying out trials. To allow us to assess impacts of a large scale electrolyser on the network and
produce a technical design for the ANM system which will allow a full range of trials to be
Objectives: 1) demonstrate and understand safe and efficient connection and operation of
electrolysers and their impact on the system; 2) develop operational strategies to minimise the
potential impact of electrolysers on the network 3) identifying the potential to provide other
network services
Success Criteria 1: Development of operational practices and commercial arrangements to
support the system implementation and operation.
Success Criteria 2 : Identify the extent to which an electrolyser can be controlled to minimise its
impact on the network and if it can be used as a tool to manage issues caused by other disruptive
Success Criteria 3 : Production and dissemination of learning around the expected operation of
electrolysers, their impact on the network and strategies to deal with any impact.
The DNO should highlight any material, known risks that could impact the Project’s costs and/or programmes.
Scale of project
Please justify the scale of the Project. In particular, the DNO should explain why there would be less potential for new learning
if the Project were a smaller scale.
Geographical area
Details of where the Trial(s) will take place. If the Project is a collaboration, the DNO area(a) in which the Trial(s) take place
should be identified.
Potential for new learning
Detail what the parties hope to learn and how the learning will be disseminated.
This should be between 5-8 to be eligible for Tier 1 Funds.
Predicted start and end dates.
DNOs should provide an estimate of the expected project starting and completion dates.
Start Date: End Date:
Project partners and external funders
Please give details of actual or potential Project Partners and External Funding Support as appropriate
This project forms part of the Aberdeen Hydrogen Project which has a total cost of approx £20m.
The project has received significant public sector funding from FP7, TSB, Scottish Government
and Aberdeen City Council. Private sector partners include BOC Linde, Stagecoach and First
Group. This application only relates to the funding of the works on the distribution network, the
ANM scheme , learning capture and knowledge dissemination. For clarity the funding is not being
used to fund the purchase of the electrolyser or make any payment to the electrolyser operator.
The project will provide new learning in relation to the following topics:
1 - Factors influencing siting of electrolysers and their connection requirements, including
practical and technical characteristics
2 - Electrolyser operating profiles and their impacts on network peak demand
3 - Potential for developing operational and commercial strategies for electrolysers to minimise
any network impacts
4 - Potential for electrolysers to provide other network services
The SHEPD commitment is staged over the life of the project.
Risk 1 - Complex commercial, operational and regulatory relationships between organisations may
lead to significant delays or problems
Risk 2 - Consenting process for the electrolyser installation takes longer than anticipated and we
can not meet the expected timescales.
Risk 3 - Project identifies that there is limited opportunity for electrolysers to operate as
controllable demand, which limits the value of the project learning.
Scale of the Project:
The size of the proposed electrolyser is 1MWe and the proposed connection arrangement
represents a reasonable representation of the likely scale for the future growth of distributed
hydrogen production based on the UKH2Mobility Study. It is sized to have sufficient capacity by
2014 to produce the required hydrogen for ten buses to be operated in Aberdeen City centre but
with a higher degree of operational flexibility to allow the full range of planned electricity
distribution network trials to be evaluated. This will allow a fuller exploration of the potential
impact of the technology on the electrical network.
Geographical Area:
An important part of the project is to identify a suitable site where electrolyser technology could
be deployed. This will focus on the SHEPD network area. In particular, there is an identified
hydrogen demand (secured through the external funding) for ten fuel cell buses operating in
Aberdeen city centre and the site will be optimised to meet this demand.The location chosen will
provide a safe environment such that the trials can be carried out without any detrimental impact
on customers or security of supply.
Please tick if the project conforms to the default IPR arrangements set out in
the LCN Fund Governance Document?
The DNO should indicate if the Project does not conform to the default IPR conditions. A justification for alternative arrangements and why the Project
should still be approved must be provided, in accordance with paragraph 2.18 of the Governance Document.
Please tick if you do not consent to the First tier pro-forma being published in
If you do not consent please identify any information in the completed First Tier LCN
Project Registration that you do not wish to be published.
The DNO must demonstrate that it (or its Project Partners) will face commercial harm from its disclosure and that
information is considered eligible for exemption under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or the Environmental
Information Regulations 2004.
All information submitted within the First Tier LCN Project Registration Pro-forma will be made available on the Ofgem
website, unless Ofgem has agreed otherwise as part of the Registration process set out above.
Estimated Project funding
An indication of the revenue allowed for within the DPCR5
settlement that is likely to be saved as a result of the project.
An indication of the total Allowable First Tier Project
Expenditure that the DNO expects to reclaim the for the
whole project.
Revenue allowed for in
the DPCR5 Settlement (£)
Indicative total Allowable
First Tier Project
Expenditure (£)
Please tick if the project involves making payments to related undertakings
The DNO must set out all payments that it proposes to make to itself or any Related Undertaking. Further, if a payment is to
be made to any Related Undertaking that is a Distribution System User, the DNO must demonstrate that it has offered the
same terms to similar Distribution System Users on the part of the network that is within the Project boundary and has used
reasonable endeavours to identify such Users.
£753,000 total
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