'We are ready for the green revolution'
That's the pledge to householders and businesses who live in Western Power Distribution’s licence areas with the power company insisting they can be confident that the electricity network is ready to support the green technologies the government has earmarked funding for in its Net Zero Strategy.
WPD has been planning and investing for the extra demand electric vehicles and heat pumps will place on the network for years – and say they have been at the forefront of creating and trialling the innovative solutions the net zero world will need.
They include using smart technology to share spare electrical capacity between substations to power on-street chargers and moving peak-time demand to other parts of the day through flexibility services. WPD is also investing in new technology to bring rapid EV charging to motorway stations.
“Much of the equipment on our network has a 50-year lifespan,” explains WPD’s System Development Manager Paul Jewell. “So we are already installing equipment that will still be working in 2070 – decades after the net zero target.
“The two strategies provide the certainty needed for local authorities and electricity network operators to implement rapid decarbonisation in their areas. WPD is working closely with the local authorities in its licence areas to develop practical regional decarbonisation plans, which deliver safe and resilient energy capacity to support local growth.
“Our job has always been to keep the lights on but I can honestly say there has never been a more exciting or dynamic time to be in this industry as we work to ensure net zero happens and your power stays on. You can be sure we will be working hard to achieve that.”
WPD, the distribution network operator for the Midlands, South West and South Wales, also recently announced a new commitment to approve connections of domestic EV chargers and heat pumps to the network either on the same day or next day.
WPD uses a range of forecasting tools to predict future load on the network which includes predicting the number of vehicles and chargers that will be connected, which helps pinpoint future investment. By 2030, WPD is predicting around 500,000 low carbon technologies, such as EV chargers and heat pumps to be installed on its network each year.
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