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UK Power Networks tests online tool to boost renewables and cut CO2

Currently being piloted, Network Vision is aimed at saving generators £1m in maintenance costs while also cutting CO2

UK Power Networks is testing a new online portal which it claims can help local energy generators reduce costs by at least £1m a year while saving carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to planting a forest 2.5 times the size of the City of London.

The new innovation project, which was announced yesterday, is designed to provide local energy generators, including renewables, with prior visibility of planned work on the network, allowing them to coordinate their own maintenance at the same time in order to minimise disruption and downtime.

Dubbed 'Network Vision', the initiative will "revolutionise" the way electricity networks manage upgrades and maintenance by pooling information from different sources to give network operators a full, accurate picture of planned works, said UK Power Networks.

The electricity distribution network firm estimated the new portal could help optimise how power generators plan and schedule work, potentially saving "at least" £1m a year in time and resources.

Reducing downtime can help maximise the potential of renewable energy to feed into local electricity networks, the company explained, enabling an extra 1080MWh of renewables generation each year and saving 344 tonnes of CO2, or the equivalent to planting 172,000 trees.

Ian Cameron, head of Innovation at UK Power Networks, said the initiative was a response to customer needs, adding that he hoped it would also benefit other networks across the country.

"This is building on some of the great work undertaken by other networks and we're looking forward to using that learning to create a next generation tool," he said.

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