Local generator helps power SSEN’s drive towards net zero

Inver Hydro Power Station on the isle of Jura

Local hydro-electric generator Inver Hydro has worked alongside Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) to keep power flowing across Islay, Jura and Colonsay and avoid 2,450 tonnes of CO2 emissions, the equivalent of taking 971 cars off the road for a year.

Constraint Managed Zones are an alternative to traditional generation being used when the main electricity network is temporarily disconnected, for example during a prolonged power cut, fault on a subsea cable or during a period of network maintenance.

Rather than rely solely on diesel generators or back-up power stations, the use of renewables and energy storage is being encouraged to keep the power flowing for local communities until the traditional electricity supply is back up and running.

While SSEN teams were progressing plans to replace the subsea cable between Jura and Tayvallich on the mainland following a fault in November, 40% of the average local electricity demand was met by Inver Hydro Power Station on Jura, working alongside the long-established Bowmore Power Station to ensure customers on the islands continued to receive the power they need.

Stewart Reid, Head of Future Networks at SSEN, said:

“The proliferation of low-carbon technologies is creating more opportunities to take a low-carbon approach to addressing network constraint. Managing our energy system in a smarter way helps decarbonisation efforts in a cost-effective manner for the communities we serve.

“By using the CMZ we have managed to avoid the carbon emissions equivalent to taking 971 cars off the road for a year, or enough to power half a million homes across Great Britain for a week. Our ambition is now to increase CMZ usage across both our distribution areas, to deliver cost savings and significant carbon reductions.”

John Lithgow, Managing Director of Inver Hydro, added:

“The CMZ has been a great success, ensuring we made a significant contribution to keeping the islands’ lights on over the winter with low-carbon generation. It clearly demonstrates the role of embedded generation like small hydro in delivering the integrated energy networks solutions of the future.”

For more information on how you can get involved in supporting the electricity network, and the UK’s net zero ambitions, please visit https://www.ssen.co.uk/SmarterElectricity.

To read more on the recently completed Jura – mainland submarine cable replacement project, click here.

About the author

Van on rural road

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

We're responsible for maintaining the electricity networks supplying over 3.8 million homes and businesses across central southern England and north of the Central Belt of Scotland. We own one electricity transmission network and two electricity distribution networks, comprising 106,000 substations and 130,000 km of overhead lines and underground cables across one third of the UK. Our first priority is to provide a safe and reliable supply of electricity to the communities we serve in Scotland and England.

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