ITI to deliver pioneer systems in major upgrade of SSEN infrastructure

An industrial energy site.
Posted in Latest News on December 22nd, 2021

ITI are due to start work on two test site projects, which if successful, will instigate a roll out of Operational Technology upgrades across SSEN’s infrastructure, enabling them to meet the output and consumer price targets in OFGEM’s RIIO-ED2 Price Control Period from 2023 to 2028.

SSEN (Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks)’s vision is to upgrade their network of substations across the UK, with the aim of improving efficiency, in order to achieve output targets at lower OPEX, and in turn, assure consumer pricing targets.

Ultimately, SSEN plan to upgrade around 1500 substations, but this will depend upon the success of these two initial test projects in two regions, Dundee and Thames Valley. ITI have signed an agreement to be the sole provider on a framework that will last five years. If these first two projects are a success and OFGEM approve the roll out, then ITI will manufacture and install the approved solution across the UK over the course of the next five years.

ITI are currently designing over 35 Operational Technology (OT) panels for the two sites, to provide industrial control systems combining protection, real time information systems and communication, which SSEN use to operate their primary assets. OT incorporates both automatic operation from protection systems or software signals, and manual action from an operator: everything from a button pressed on a keyboard in the control room, to the terminals of the operating coil on the switch on the LV, HV or EHV networks.

Bryn Thomas, Sales Director for Power and Infrastructure at ITI said: “This is a significant contract which has the potential to evolve into a long-term relationship with SSEN and allow us to help them build a sustainable future. SSEN are relying on ITI to deliver a robust and effective solution that will help them to achieve their goals, and we intend to deliver on that expectation.”

Andrew Robertson, Head of Operational Technology at SSEN, added: “The coming years will be key to building an ever more resilient network, as we enhance our operational technology to improve reliability for our customers and deliver a solid foundation for net zero. I look forward to working with ITI and their experienced team to deliver the initial test projects and establish a wider programme following regulatory approval.”

RIIO-ED2 is the price control for the electricity distribution network, where network companies take power from the transmission network and deliver it at safe, lower voltages to homes and businesses. The price control runs for five years, from 2023-2028 and sets the outputs that the 14 electricity Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) need to deliver for their consumers and the associated revenues they are allowed to collect for the five-year period from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2028.