Project to find a low-carbon solution to energy network security commences

The Resilience as a Service (RaaS) project, led by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), Costain and E.ON, seeks to develop an innovative solution to improve energy security in rural and remote areas. The £9.5m project aims to combine battery storage with local energy resources to provide low carbon, cost effective network resilience in response to faults. 

RaaS brings together smart infrastructure experts Costain and leading European energy company E.ON. The project has successfully secured over £10 million of funding through Ofgem’s Network Innovation Competition (NIC) and will address the technical and commercial aspects necessary to allow this solution to be applied at suitable sites across GB. 

Currently, in the rare instance that a network fault occurs in a remote location, standby diesel generators are often utilised to return customers to power while the fault is being addressed, with time needed to transport the generators to site. By developing a market-based solution which enables batteries and local renewable generation to play an enhanced role in supporting energy system security, RaaS will provide a sustainable solution which improves security of supply for our customers. 

The project will last four years and applies key learning from E.ON’s earlier ‘Simris’ demonstration project in Sweden, which seamlessly disconnected (‘islanded’) a section of E.ON’s network from the grid and maintained supply during planned network interruptions using a combination of renewables, energy storage and smart energy management techniques. 

The first phase of the project will focus on the technical and commercial development of the new solution which will act in response to a fault and return customers to supply. In 2022, the project will enter its second phase, building and operating a pilot project, with the first demo-site to be installed in a remote location in Scotland, to showcase the solution and provide learnings. From 2024 the project will seek to replicate its learning on a wider scale. 

Stewart Reid, Head of Future Networks for SSEN, welcomed the commencement of RaaS: “Our core priority is to provide a safe and reliable supply of electricity to the communities we serve. This project will show how we could revolutionize the way we meet this core priority in a manner that helps the transition to a net zero energy system.” 

"The proliferation of low-carbon technologies is fundamentally changing the way our energy system operates and is managed. This change brings tremendous opportunities, including driving value from local renewable generation and energy storage playing a role in local resilience.  The project focuses on real life application to allow us to mitigate and address any challenges that arise.  RaaS will be a key part in supporting batteries and distributed generation playing an even greater role in the UK’s energy system.” 

As a leading supporter of the UK and Scottish Government’s net zero ambitions, SSEN is undertaking a suite of projects to understand how this transition can be undertaken in a cost-effective manner for customers. SSEN is committed to ensuring that this transition is equitable and works for the households, businesses and communities it serves.