A POWER distribution company is to spend £83 million on creating a ‘smart grid’ across Yorkshire to prepare for the rapid growth of electric vehicles and domestic heat pumps.
Electricity sub-stations in York and North Yorkshire towns such as Malton are set to be upgraded with ‘Automatic Voltage Control’ systems as part of Northern Powergrid’s investment in new technology.
It says the upgrade, dubbed ‘Smart Grid Enablers’, could save it £500 million in the long run by managing increasingly complex flows of energy on the network during rapid growth in the use of electric vehicles and domestic heat pumps.
It also says it wants to support the North’s ambitions to build economic growth around low-carbon technology.
The project will transform its ability to monitor, control and communicate with more than 8,000 substations delivering power to 3.9 million homes and businesses.
Policy and markets director Patrick Erwin said: “Our Smart Grid Enablers programme is putting our region at the forefront of the low-carbon revolution.
“It will make us ready to support rapid growth of electric vehicles, heat pumps and solar power in the next decade, while maintaining a reliable system and keeping costs as low as possible for all our customers.
“This is the most comprehensive upgrade programme of any UK network operator and will give us a state of the art command and control capability, enabling us to respond to real-time information about power flow on our network.”
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