Smarter Grid Solutions Wins Horizon 2020 Funding for Innovative Power System Planning Tool

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Smarter Grid Solutions has been awarded a grant under the ‘SME Instrument’ funding scheme of the European Commission, to develop its eCAP concept. The grant will support the development and commercial release of a planning tool to meet the growing demands of generation development companies and distribution network operators.

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The award of this SME grant to take eCAP forward is a welcome confirmation of the high quality developmental work we are undertaking.

eCAP (Easy Connection Analysis Portal) is an innovative power network planning and analysis tool for self-assessment of network capacity for Distributed Generation (DG) connection. eCAP provides DG developers with the ability to analyse the viability of conventional and renewable resource connections prior to making a connection application. DG Developers are able to choose a point of connection in the network and receive an estimate of the available network capacity based on the type of generation technology and rated capacity.

Smarter Grid Solutions is one of 251 companies, out of 1556 EU-wide applicants, to have been awarded a grant under the SME Instrument funding scheme of the Horizon 2020 competitive innovation funding programme, of the European Commission.

eCap – Empowering Distributed Generation Developers with Capacity Estimations

The eCAP project will develop a new planning and analysis tool, and has several objectives with different levels of impact: product development and industrialisation, company strategy and economic growth, and wider European goals and strategy in renewable energy system deployment.

The eCAP project will fuel the transition from successful proof of concept to a fully developed and released product to meet proven customer demand, with a future product development roadmap beyond that. The development of eCAP will provide benefits such as:

  • Self-Assess Grid Connection Costs: Accelerating DG expansion and renewable resources deployment, by enabling DG developers to self-assess grid connection costs at the planning stage.
  • Alternative Connection Options: Evaluating connection options using eCAP may allow inviable projects that use traditional (firm) capacity to be economically feasible by using Smarter Grid Solutions Active Network Management (ANM) products (flexible connections).
  • Electricity End User Tariff Reduction: Increasing social welfare, by reducing DG development and grid access costs. In light of the current regulations and market operation, this benefit is ultimately socialised by a reduction in end user tariffs.
  • Decrease Carbon Footprint: Contributing to a carbon neutral electricity system, by facilitating renewable DG connection self-assessment.
  • Promote Clean Technology: Promoting smart grids by developing a user-friendly planning tool that contributes to the smart grid and clean technology revolution.

Graham Ault, Development Director at Smarter Grid Solutions said: “The award of this SME grant to take eCAP forward is a welcome confirmation of the high quality developmental work we are undertaking to provide power system planning tools to our customers and the market to support the rapid growth and grid integration of low carbon technologies”.

Smarter Grid Solutions delivers products and services that enables Distributed Network Operators (DNOs) to integrate Distributed Energy Resources (DER). The company provides world-leading Active Network Management products, and is the only provider to uniquely combine real-time, autonomous and deterministic control into its Active Network Management solutions. Its products are transforming the utilisation and resilience of the grid, and managing connected customers at greatly reduced cost, without compromising safety and security. It supports customers worldwide from its offices in Glasgow, London and New York.

The company was formed in 2008, originating from the world-renowned Institute for Energy and Environment at the University of Strathclyde, and it is Europe’s leading vendor of DER integration solutions. It established its offices in New York in 2013, and is now an active contributor to the development of the Smart Grid in many parts of North America.

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