UK telecoms company Vodafone this week signed a four-year agreement with Scottish Power Energy Network to supply a database to monitor the utility's grid.The GBP75m deal includes Vodafone supplying SP Energy Network with a database that oversees power supply and tracks sources of electricity, according to UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph.
The solution will be used to report faults on the utility’s 100km of overhead and underground power cables.
Frank Mitchell, CEO of SP Energy Networks, said: "Vodafone will provide communications systems that will help us to manage the day-to-day reliability of our network and plan for the future."
The development falls under SP Energy’s 2016-2024 plan to enhance its network operations by integrating functionalities such as time-of-use tariffs in line with the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) stipulations to cut costs on the distribution network by GBP900m.
SP Energy in UK smart grid advancements
In December 2015, SP Energy Network signed a contract with smart grid solutions company Tollgate Communications to deploy grid automation technology.
Under the contract, Tollgate said it will integrate its distribution monitoring platform, LightHouse, into SP Energy Network’s grid as part of the utility's Accelerating Renewables Connection (ARC) project.
The energy company said it believes the LightHouse smart grid solution will assist in increasing the amount of renewable energy sources the utility can accommodate on its grid at a lower cost.
By engaging in the contract, the Scottish electricity supplier hoped will assisted in meeting UK's carbon reduction targets through implementation of smart energy resources to limit the impact of global warming.
Commenting on the development, Martin Wright, lead engineer for future networks at SP Energy Networks, said the supplier selected LightHouse as the sensors can be installed anywhere on the utility’s distribution network and portable to install at constraint points or moved around to monitor impact on the network more generally.
The development followed the release of a report by the Carbon Trust, calling for a joined-up energy strategy using smart technology in order to guarantee energy security, jobs and build expertise within Scotland.