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Durham University

Durham Energy Institute


Energy storage and its place in the low carbon future

(4 July 2014)

A new video which documents the ambitious 24-month undertaking by Northern Powergrid to specify, procure, install and commission six energy storage devices across live electricity networks in the North of England is available to watch on YouTube.

The film tells the story of one of Europe’s most influential trials of electrical energy storage (EES), successfully conducted by Northern Powergrid and its partners, including DEI, for our £54m Customer-Led Network Revolution (CLNR) project. CLNR is assessing the potential for energy storage to improve network efficiency, defer the need for network reinforcement and help UK distribution network operators rise to the challenges presented by a low carbon future.

Members of the project team explain how our six energy storage devices, with capacities of 5MWh, 200KWh and 100KWh, were sited at rural and urban network locations to paint a comprehensive picture of how energy storage works on different networks, with different kinds of construction and customers. Collectively, the chosen networks offer a representative sample equivalent to 80% of the UK’s entire electricity distribution network, which means the real-world trial results could be adopted and applied by all other UK network operators.

The video also illustrates how energy storage can be used to support the connection of more renewable energy sources and the increasing uptake of low carbon technologies to help the UK meet its decarbonisation targets. In addition, you’ll find out more about how the EES devices are being monitored and optimised by the advanced active network management system developed for the CLNR project, GUS (Grand Unified Scheme).

Electrical energy storage is just one of several network technology solutions being trialled by the CLNR project, which aims to identify the most cost-effective ways to help network operators manage peak demand more effectively and defer the need for costly network reinforcement.


About the Customer-Led Network Revolution project

The Customer-Led Network Revolution (CLNR) project, which is part-funded by Ofgem’s Low Carbon Networks (LCN) Fund, aims to understand how the use of low carbon technologies, such as solar panels, electric vehicles and heat pumps, impact on the current electricity grid network.

The project is trialling innovative smart grid technologies on the Northern Powergrid electricity distribution network and working with thousands of customers, many of whom have homes and businesses equipped with smart meters and in-home energy monitors and low carbon technologies like solar PV, heat pumps and electric vehicle charging points.

Findings from the project will provide guidance on how to meet the UK's future energy needs via the deployment of smart grid technologies and help the industry ensure the UK’s electricity networks are prepared for the mass introduction of these low carbon technologies. The knowledge, tools and recommendations generated will be made readily available to promote understanding across the energy industry as a whole.

The key partners in the project are Northern Powergrid (, British Gas (, EA Technology ( Durham University ( and Newcastle University (

For further information about the CLNR project, visit the website at