383144 08: A view of the power lines as evening settles December 11, 2000 in Pico Rivera, CA. California residents statewide are urged to delay turning on their holiday lights until 7 P.M. each evening to prevent electrical blackouts. Several stage two emergencies, when electrical reserves in the region drop to 5 percent or less, have been declared in recent days. (Photo by David McNew/Newsmakers)

The solution will automate and improve how electricity networks manage planned upgrades and maintenance work, minimize network outages, and enable informed decision-making

Cyient, a global provider of engineering, manufacturing, geospatial, networks, digital, and operations management solutions to global industry leaders, will execute a project for UK Power Networks, the UK’s largest electricity distribution network operator. As part of the innovation project, called “Network Vision”, Cyient will develop an online outage planning and tracking integration portal that will help optimize distributed energy generation performance and deliver cost savings of as much as £1 million per year.

Planning network downtime is a complex process that involves balancing competing factors, making it necessary to interrupt power supplies on parts of the electricity network so engineers can undertake maintenance, upgrades and other tasks safely.

Cyient’s solution development team is working in collaboration with UK Power Networks to design and build the outage planning and tracking portal from the ground up. This will allow UK Power Networks to automate current processes and streamline how upgrades and maintenance tasks are scheduled.

Network Vision will give local energy generators – including renewable generation – visibility of planned work so they have the option to coordinate their own maintenance at the same time as the electricity network’s maintenance operations, and so minimize downtime.

Reducing downtime helps maximise the potential of renewable energy to feed into local electricity networks and could enable an extra 1080 MWh of renewable generation per year, saving 344 tonnes of CO2 emissions. That’s the equivalent effect of planting 172,000 trees (a forest 2.5 times the size of the City of London) every year.

John Renard, President of Utilities and Geospatial, and President of EMEA, Cyient said, “We are excited to be working with UK Power Networks on this innovative and revolutionary project that will enable utilities to change the way they manage their networks.”

“UK Power Networks has listened to what its stakeholders in the distributed energy community have said and responded with this project as a direct solution to their requests. It will give customers the ability to harmonize their plans with the network and ensure greater efficiency on network capacity.”

Ian Cameron, head of innovation at UK Power Networks, said: “The rapid growth of renewable energy in recent years means that our customers are changing and want us to respond to the needs they highlighted at our Distributed Generation Forums. We’re excited to improve the service we offer them and to share our learnings so that all networks can also benefit.”