Tollgrade Communications distribution line sensor deployed for U.K. grid operator

Network assurance provider Tollgrade Communications Inc., deployed a new 50 hertz version of its LightHouse distribution line sensor for Western Power Distribution.

WPD is one of six electricity distribution network operators in the U.K. responsible for the Midlands, South Wales, and the South West, delivering electricity to more than 7.7 million customers over a 55,300 square kilometer service area.

The company is involved with a number of deployments as part of the Low Carbon Network Fund, introduced by U.K. energy regulator, the Office of the Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem), to upgrade the electricity network.

With this deployment, the LightHouse platform is providing WPD with real-time visibility into its distribution grid, allowing the network operator to improve reliability and optimize network planning as it eases its transition to a low-carbon future.

Distribution network operators such as WPD are expecting changes in the way electricity flows around the network, as consumers adopt low-carbon technologies including electric vehicles and heat pumps. One initiative addressing this concern before it becomes reality is the Flexible Approaches to Low Carbon Optimised Networks (FALCON) project, a U.K. regulator-funded program that aims to improve the industry’s understanding of infrastructure needs in a low-carbon environment.

WPD is working with smart grid technology providers such as Tollgrade to find the best ways to manage network problems expected to arise from low-carbon technologies and generation. Tollgrade partnered with Powerline Technologies Limited, a U.K. supplier of smart grid equipment, to deliver the LightHouse platform to WPD as a part of Project FALCON.

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