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Durham University

Research & business

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Customer Led Network Revolution

A research project of the Durham Energy Institute.


The Customer-Led Network Revolution (CLNR) Project is the UK’s biggest smart grid project and at the forefront of the move towards a low-carbon economy. The £54 million scheme is an exciting collaboration between academia and business led by Northern Powergrid, the electricity distribution network operator for the North East and Yorkshire. The project is part-funded by the Office of the Gas and Electricity Markets’ (OFGEM) Low Carbon Networks Fund (LCNF). The other lead business partners in the project are British Gas and EA Technology. Durham University is providing academic rigour to the project through its multi-disciplinary Durham Energy Institute.

The transition to a low-carbon economy will present both opportunities and challenges for the electricity industry and its customers. The CLNR project seeks to develop cost-effective solutions that will ensure the UK electricity network is fit for the future and able to cope with mass uptake of electricity dependent, low-carbon technologies, such as solar panels, electric vehicles and heat pumps.

The project is trialling innovative new smart grid technology on the Northern Powergrid electricity network, as well as creating thousands of smart-enabled homes across the North East and Yorkshire, to give customers more choice and flexibility over the way they use and generate electricity.

Knowledge gained from the project will be shared with other distribution network operators and the wider energy industry; it will provide clear guidance on how to address key energy issues via the deployment of smart grid technologies and customer interventions.

More information on CLNR project impact

Find out about CLNR project resources

For further information on the CLNR project visit the project website at


Learning outcomes

For further information on outcomes from the project visit

Learning outcome 1 establishes a greater understanding of current, emerging and possible future load and generation characteristics.
View the Learning Outcome 1 results here

Learning outcome 2 evaluates the extent to which customers are flexible in their load and generation, and the cost of this flexibility.

Learning outcome 3 focuses on network technology and evaluates the extent to which the network can be more flexible, and the cost of this flexibility.
The outputs of these first three learning outcomes are drawn together to deliver the following learning outcomes:

Learning outcome 4 seeks to answer the question ‘what is the optimum solution to resolve network constraints driven by the transition to a low carbon economy ?’

Learning outcome 5 seeks to answer the question ‘what are the most effective means to deliver optimal solutions between customer, supplier and distribution network operator?

For further information on the CLNR project visit the project website at


From the Durham Energy Institute

From other departments

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