SSEN EV Charger on residential street
SSEN wins £600,000 from Ofgem’s SIF for four new projects. Image: SSEN

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has won £600,000 from the third round of Ofgem’s Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) for four clean energy projects.

The Distribution Network Operator (DNO) for the north of Scotland and central southern England has sourced funding for four of its green initiatives, two of which focus on the potential of solar energy and energy storage.

The first project of note is called UN:LOCK, which stands for Unblocking Networks: Local Optimisation, Consumers and Knowledge, and will focus on transporting solar energy generated on the Isle of Wight, which is one of the sunniest areas of the UK.

In partnership with Regen and Environmental Project Support, the project will look at ways to accelerate the connection of the new generation of cables within existing network capacity limits.

MaxFlex is a project aiming to use local authorities as an avenue to develop solar and battery energy storage systems (BESS) by creating Energy Flexibility Certificates, which will help firms and Local Authorities better understand the opportunities available to them.

The firm’s partners for this project are Baringa, the University of Reading, and the Greater London Authority.

The other two successful projects are less directly dedicated to solar or BESS but are nevertheless working on important aspects of the energy transition.

For example, Nature4Networks (N4N) looks at the challenges posed by climate change differently, studying nature for the solutions it could offer while also providing benefits for climate, biodiversity, and societal well-being.

Also, SeaChange plans to model what the ports and harbours in this new net-zero world will look like, ensuring they support both internal trade and local communities.

“These four projects are diverse in their goals, and they’re all focused on solving real issues and improving things for our customers, communities, and our environment,” said Stewart Reid, head of future networks at SSEN Distribution.

He added: “I would like to thank all our project partners for their work on these projects, which has been invaluable in getting them to this stage and giving them the best possible chance of securing this innovation funding.”

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These four SSEN projects represent a fraction of the 44 projects chosen to receive funding from SIF this round.

Alongside SEEN, Ofgem allocated the funding across SP Energy Networks, National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO), National Gas Transmission and Northern Powergrid, each of which is responsible for multiple projects.

Northern Powergrid was awarded £650,000 in funding to explore five pioneering new innovation projects.

ScottishPower Energy Networks (SPEN) has secured £275,000 of funding to help further two of its innovative projects this year. The two projects, Equiflex and LVOE, look to address key issues facing the electricity network as the UK moves to net zero.