A POWER company is investing millions into clean and renewable energy in Northern England.

Northern Powergrid is investing £11.4m on enhancing its remote network management, to deliver a smarter power grid for customers.

The investment is a critical part of Northern Powergrid ongoing work at the forefront of net zero development, and green growth across the region.

Following a robust procurement process, the network operator has awarded utility network and wireless telecommunications specialist, EMR Integrated Solutions, a £11.4 million contract.This is to deliver a major project to upgrade its secondary Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system to an Internet Protocol communications platform across 7,500 distribution substations.

EMR has established a strong footprint in the UK utility market, working with providers such as SSE, Greencoat UK Wind, Greater Gabbard OFTO, Northern Ireland Water, Severn Trent Water and Affinity Water.

This project is a key part of Northern Powergrid’s wider £83m smart grid enabler programme, which forms the backbone to delivering a more actively managed electricity distribution system. This will support future energy need as it brings more clean, renewable generation online in the UK.

The investment will enable Northern Powergrid to activate enhanced automation across thousands of substations, centralise control of its remote infrastructure, and build a better understanding of customers’ electricity consumption patterns providing a responsive service that meets customers’ needs.

As the region decarbonises, customers will become increasingly dependent on electricity, for low carbon technologies such as electric vehicles and solar panels. The investment will provide a platform to roll out smart, cost-effective solutions and provide real-time network operation data to inform future management of the region’s power network.

Mark Nicholson, Northern Powergrid’s Head of Smart Grids, said: “This project will enhance network flexibility and build more digital capability to meet our customer's needs now and in the future. It will help facilitate our transition to a Distribution System Operator that actively manages varying power generation and demands across our grid as our customers become more dependent on electricity to power their needs."