Increasing renewable energy and reducing customer bills: using managed connections and flexible demand response controls in the electricity network to support decarbonisation with the minimum infrastructure investment.

Impact: Environmental, Economic


University of Manchester research, in collaboration with Electricity Northwest Ltd (ENWL), has developed and implemented a suite of control options across the electricity network of the North West of the UK. This avoided substantial cost-intensive upgrades, whilst enabling the integration of a growing number of renewable technologies into the network. ENWL are now able to provide “fast-reserve” services to the National Grid. Collectively, this research has:
- Fundamentally changed ENWL’s policy making and investment process to assess network upgrade options;
- Provided evidence enabling ENWL to secure GBP18,000,000 funding for the UK’s first actively optimised network;
- Since 2016, generated [text removed for publication] savings (to ENWL and customers) across the network;
- Since 2019, generated [text removed for publication] “fast-reserve” revenue for ENWL;
- Supported trials (Smart Streets) that could save up to 17 MtCO2e in the North West of England by 2060.
Impact date1 Jan 20151 Jan 2020
Category of impactEnvironmental, Economic
Impact levelAdoption

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Energy
  • Manchester China Institute