Nine reasons to catch National Grid at Utility Week Live
Teams from our System Operator (SO) and Gas Transmission (GT) businesses will be hosting stands at this month’s Utility Week Live. Don’t miss your chance to learn more about what we do, the challenges we face – and how you could help us solve the biggest challenges of our time.
Nine reasons to catch National Grid at Utility Week Live
“We’re here and we want to talk to you – not only about what we’re doing in innovation, but also to hear the kinds of innovations you’re working on and the ideas you have.”
Tom Neal, Gas Transmission Owner Innovation Governance Manager.
Utility Week Live is held from 22-23 May in Hall 12 of Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre.
Source: National Grid.
Anyone interested in innovation will find plenty to take home from Utility Week Live, held from 22-23 May in Hall 12 of Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre.
Both our System Operator (SO) and Gas Transmission (GT) businesses will take to the stage at an event, bringing together more than 3,000 industry colleagues and innovators from across the UK. It’s an unmissable opportunity to learn and be inspired by each other.
Innovation has long been at the heart of how we get better as a business. It helps us continually improve, become more efficient and reduce costs for consumers.
Here are nine more reasons to link up with us in Birmingham:
1. Learn more about what the SO and GT really do
We know that the roles and goals of our different businesses aren’t clear to everyone. So we’ll be using Utility Week Live to show delegates exactly what each business does, the role it plays in the broader energy landscape and the unique challenges they face. In simple terms, GT is responsible for transmitting gas across the UK, while the SO is central to planning and operating the electricity and gas transmission networks. Come and talk to us in Birmingham to find out more.
2. Hear keynote speakers explore the challenges facing GTO
Head to the venue’s Innovation Theatre at 12.30-1pm on day one and 12.40-1.10pm on day two, to hear leading influencers from the gas sector talk challenges and opportunities. Day one’s presentation will be fronted by Tony Nixon, Head of Gas Regulation, while Antony Green, Head of Network Engineering, will speak on day two. Charon Balrey, RIIO T2 Stakeholder Manager will also be with us, gathering your views on what we need to do as a business to be fit for the future. Hearing your opinions has always been important and will become even more so during the next price control period, which puts a clear focus on engaging and co-creating innovation with our stakeholders.
3. Play SO’s VR game and explore its new innovation strategy
An unmissable feature of the SO’s stand will be an interactive virtual reality (VR) game that puts the player at the centre of operating Britain’s electricity system. Once you slip on your headset, you’ll see a simplified representation of what the electricity network looks like and get to solve three different scenarios – balancing the network, inertia and reactive power. “Each of these is a key challenge we face,” said SO Innovation Strategy Manager Joshua Visser. “The VR provides an immersive experience that will help people gain a better understanding of the challenges we face in operating the electricity transmission system.” The stand will also feature the SO business’ latest innovation strategy, which highlights the most pressing challenges the SO aims to solve through new and ongoing projects with industry partners.
4. Opportunities for potential suppliers and partners
By sharing their purpose and challenges with delegates, both the SO and GT are keen to start new conversations with potential innovation partners across industry and academia. “We’re here and we want to talk to you,” is the message from Gas Transmission Owner Innovation Governance Manager Tom Neal. “We want to share what we’re doing in innovation, but also hear the kinds of innovations you’re working on and the ideas you have.”
From an SO perspective, the overarching aim’s the same. “We’re looking for new innovation partners who can help us adapt to changes in the energy system,” said Joshua Visser. “Disruptive technologies, changing demand and increased renewable generation means we need to operate the grid in new and different ways. So come and talk to us about the opportunities outlined in our strategy and how we could potentially work as partners to solve these.”
5. Millions in innovation funding available
When it comes to collaborating on innovation, it’s natural to ask: ‘what’s in it for you?’. Partnering with National Grid can be powerful, not least because it has innovation funding available through Ofgem’s Network Innovation Allowance (NIA), which could be used to finance your project. So if you have a new idea – or an existing innovation – that could help solve one of our challenges, it’s worth talking to us.
6. Discover the latest breakthroughs in gas innovation
The GTO’s stand will share progress on key innovations, including its two Network Innovation Competition (NIC) projects. Project GRAID is developing a robot that can navigate previously unreachable sections of the high-pressure gas network, while CLoCC is reducing the time and cost involved in connecting to the National Transmission System (NTS). Major NIA projects will also be showcased, including the valve sealant line grouted tee, which is set to significantly reduce pipe repair costs, and composite transition pieces, a quicker and safer solution for maintaining pipes that exit our concrete inspection pits.
7. Be inspired by SO’s future-focused thinking
Our SO team’s stand will feature standout projects in its portfolio which aim to address the three key challenges of decarbonisation, decentralisation and digitalisation. You’ll learn the latest on Power Potential, which aims to create a new reactive power market for distributed energy resources (DER) and generate extra capacity for the network. Find out, too, how Enhanced Frequency Control Capability (EFCC) is helping us maintain the 50Hz frequency stability on the electricity transmission system in the face of increasing volumes of renewable generation, such as solar and wind, coming online.
8. Get closer to technology in GT’s ‘innovation bar’
GT’s innovation bar will feature a hand-picked selection of cool innovations that you can touch and feel, such as 3D printed components, and examples of our airborne LiDAR (light detection and ranging) technology in action. “This innovation hub will provide a central point to experience loads of great tech and allow everyone to have a broader, informal discussion about innovation,” said Tom.
9. Get a buzz from ‘cross-pollinating’ ideas
One of the best things about Utility Week Live is that it brings together different people from different industries with different perspectives. This makes it an incredible opportunity to engage your imagination and combine cross-industry ideas to create powerful new ones. It’s a chance to widen your contacts – and opportunities.
So whether you’re an innovator in industry or academia, we’d love to meet you in Birmingham and explore if we could work together to transform our industry in a positive way.
Tickets are free and you can register here. See you there!
Come and meet us at:
SO: Stand E49
GT: Stand E22