FITNESS Stakeholder Event 2016

 Glasgow, Scotland, UK

by Priyanka Mohapatra, SP Energy Networks, UK


ScottishPower Energy Networks is part of the Iberdrola Group, a global energy company and world leader in wind energy. It operates in the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity, energy management and supply of electricity in the UK.
SP Energy Networks (SPEN), a part of the ScottishPower Group of companies, hosted the first knowledge sharing and stakeholder engagement event for the Future Intelligent Transmission Network SubStation (FITNESS) project on 27th October 2016 in Glasgow.
The event was included in the agenda of the IEC TC 57 Working group 10 meeting which was held at the Technology & Innovation Center (TIC) of the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, UK. (Figure 1).
FITNESS is the pilot live multi-vendor digital substation demonstration in GB, which kicked-off in 2016 with the following key objectives:

  • Demonstrate that new protection and automation solutions, based on IEC 61850-9-2 process bus standard deployed live for the first time through this project, are applicable for use on the GB trans-mission network
  • Demonstrate that innovative solutions will be interoperable with existing conventional systems to optimize asset replacement
  • Accelerate towards a future modernization approach with reduced primary plant outage and commis-sioning time
  • Accelerate towards standardized wide area control implementation leading to robust and less bespoke solutions for increasing asset capacity

The event was held to allow SPEN and their project partners, GE Grid Solutions, ABB, Synaptec and the University of Manchester, to share the detailed objectives and business drivers behind the project (Figure 4).

The fact that the event was held alongside the IEC TC 57 WG10 “Power systems management and associated information exchange” meeting to engage with the many key IEC 61850 industry experts, spark valuable debate between WG members, suppliers and the end users. Presentations were given by representatives from each project partner.

Colin Taylor, Director of Engineering Services responsible for the “Future Networks” innovation department at SPEN, opened the event by highlighting the importance of FITNESS in answering essential questions and challenges that prohibit widespread uptake by utilities.  He also highlighted how the existing RIIO mechanism introduced by GB regulator, Ofgem promotes innovation within UK utilities to improve low carbon technologies, operational efficiency and ultimately drive down energy costs for GB customers.

Priyanka Mohapatra, FITNESS project manager at SPEN, introduced the fundamental objectives of the pilot project, which will deploy fully-digital multi-vendor solutions, on Station, Process and Bay Level, on two 275kV substation bays at Wishaw, Scotland.

Experts from ABB and GE presented the FITNESS draft system architecture. The two bays will be installed parallel to the live network and will be formed of a mixture of devices supplied from ABB, GE, and Synaptec demonstrating interoperability by mirroring the live operation.

The parallel digital solution will be presented within the EMS as dummy substation bays for the duration of the project, following which the digital solution will be relocated and converted to live operation.

The event also highlighted that besides demonstrating multi-vendor interoperability and the footprint savings associated with digital-solutions, the project will also demonstrate the operation and additional benefits of non-conventional instrument transformers (NCITs) to be supplied by GE and ABB, alongside a new type of distributed sensor provided by Synaptec. 

In addition to the 61850-based technology to be trialled, representatives from GE highlighted how FITNESS seeks to demonstrate the role digital substation technology can play in helping facilitate and enable the future intelligent wide area concepts such as WAMPAC - Wide-Area Monitoring, Control and Protection.

The last presentation of the day rounded off the whole event by providing insight into existing application 61850 in SP Energy Networks at their Windyhill substation. The presentation provided an overview of their achievements also challenges SPEN faced during their station bus implementation. The presentation also presented a challenge to FITNESS to provide right level of training to build skillset within the organization.
Overall it was a well-organized, very informative event with strong focus on changing business processes to make IEC 61850 a reality and part of substation design, planning and operational practices for GB transmission and distribution owners.  



BeijingSifang June 2016