Strathclyde, U.K. --- (METERING.COM) --- November 24, 2010 - ScottishPower and the University of Strathclyde have joined forces to boost the progress of smart electricity grids in the U.K. and to help position Scotland at the forefront in the development of this new technology.

ScottishPower is funding a new position, to be called the “ScottishPower Chair in Smart Grid Technology”, while the University is funding an associated lecturer position based in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering.

The collaboration aims to support high quality academic research and development that will lead to practical application of new technologies and knowledge exchange with industry.

“ScottishPower has worked closely with the university over many years and we are delighted to be enhancing our relationship through the development of smart grid technology,” commented Jim Sutherland, network development director at ScottishPower. “We also hope that our partnership with Strathclyde will help to spark further interest in this area of engineering and produce graduates of the future who will be able to bring their skills into the industry.”

“This investment reflects Scotland’s opportunity to be at the forefront of smart grid technology and engineering,” added Professor Jim McDonald, principal of the University of Strathclyde. “The University has a long and successful history of working with industry and producing research to help tackle the challenges of the 21st Century. The new academic staff will help further this work and support the development of highly skilled graduates needed urgently by the energy sector.”

The energy industry and the U.K. government have outlined their support for upgrading the electricity network across the U.K., and a number of trial projects are underway. ScottishPower is developing a smart grid project in Glasgow as part of the Clyde Gateway project, a regeneration scheme in the east end of Glasgow. Further projects the company is working on include a pilot scheme in the Toxteth area of Liverpool and one in Ashton Hayes, Cheshire.

The sponsorship from ScottishPower will be in the region of £750,000 over five years.