Distribution firm Western Power has outlined a new strategy to use digital technologies and data innovations to decarbonise the network.
The move will see faster decarbonisation through greater network efficiency and flexibility, more responsive customer service, and lower energy bills for customers.
A key element to the plan is to allow for for the connection of more low carbon technologies, such as electric vehicle (EV) charging hubs, while minimising the need for network reinforcement.
It also hopes that improved data collection and sharing will empower third party innovators to develop dynamic new solutions to energy challenges.
Phil Swift, Chief Executive, WPD, said: “The digitalisation of the UK’s energy systems is in the interest of all. Not only will this help us to empower our customers by providing greater information and insights, it will also be key to achieving a modern decarbonised and decentralised energy system.
“To deliver net zero we will have to increasingly make the most of the infrastructure we already have. Digitalising the network will play a key role in this, driving greater efficiency while creating new opportunities and innovations for our customers.
“To digitalise the business at speed, we are continuing to develop our workforce and skills. We have already increased the number of Telecoms and Control Systems apprentices to ensure we have the right expertise to deliver our ambitions, and we continue to assess our needs to guide investment in the right training and skills to deliver for our customers.”
Jonathan Berry, DSO Digitalisation & Data Manager at WPD, said: “WPD is committed to delivering tangible and impactful change through our digitalisation programme.
“To date, the modernisation of the energy industry has been hindered by a lack of valuable data, but our roadmap sets out our long-term vision and approach to ensure that we capture, manage and share our data to enable a net-zero transition, and continue to deliver excellent customer service, reliability, and value for money.
“As we have seen in other sectors, digitalisation can spur a new era of innovation that brings about unforeseen economic opportunities and societal benefits. Digitalising our electricity networks will undoubtedly result in spill overs into other sectors, benefiting our customers and stakeholders.”