Community invited to inform network resilience project on the Isle of Skye

Customers are encouraged to provide their views on the next stage of an innovative project that will improve energy system security on the Isle of Skye. Resilience as a Service (RaaS) is a Network Innovation Competition funded project which is exploring a low carbon solution to responding to faults and improving energy system security in the transition to net zero. Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution is seeking community views on the project, to ensure the final design is beneficial for customers and replicable in other parts of the country.  

SSEN is working with project partners Costain and E.ON, on the five-year RaaS project which aims to develop and trial a scheme that uses a battery energy storage system together with local distributed energy resources to swiftly and automatically restore power to customers in the event of a fault, allowing time for SSEN engineers to respond. A key benefit of greater resilience would be an improved service to customers in areas susceptible to power outages. RaaS would also allow local renewables to continue generating and exporting energy at times when the grid is disrupted, making the most of that zero carbon electricity and sustaining the associated income which would otherwise have been lost. 

The RaaS project has selected Drynoch primary substation on the Isle of Skye as its proposed demonstration site. Community views are now being sought, which will help the project partners to take a decision about proceeding with the installation and operation of a RaaS system at Drynoch for a trial period of up to two years. 

Sarah Rigby, SSEN Innovation Project Manager 

“The RaaS concept could be key to improving the security of supply cost effectively for our customers. It is in line with everything that SSEN wants to do in delivering a low carbon energy system and using flexible solutions and services to operate our network dynamically. We wholeheartedly encourage local homes and businesses to share their views with us at this stage of the project and look forward to keeping people updated as we move into the trial phase.” 

Alan Richmond, Minginish Community Council 

“Minginish Community Council is keen to support this innovative project to upgrade Drynoch substation. The installation of new and improved equipment to reduce power outages to a minimum will be of benefit to the wider community and we look forward to hearing about further progress in the near future.” 

Henrik Micski, Skye Climate Action 

“The plans to develop and demonstrate RaaS have caught the interest of Skye Climate Action. We recognise that as well as improving network resilience for a better supply to customers, a battery installed for RaaS could eventually support Skye and Raasay in achieving their decarbonisation goals by facilitating new, sustainable energy systems based in and/or owned by the community. We welcome the project team’s engagement with local groups and customers as such feedback is important to guide the plans for the Drynoch trial, which would go on to shape the future use of RaaS at other locations across the Highlands and Islands, assisting wider decarbonisation and local energy generation.” 

A short, anonymous survey will be issued to local homes and businesses over the coming weeks and responses can be submitted via Freepost or online. Responses to this survey will help inform decisions around the trial implementation of RaaS. 

The RaaS project has been funded through Ofgem’s Network Innovation Competition (NIC). To learn more about the RaaS project, click here