Vodafone’s 5G in first smart substation trial

Vodafone and UK Power Networks ae partnering to develop the Constellation pilot, the electricity network operator’s smart substation trial.

Constellation is a trial of technologies that can connect the UK’s electricity network with high-speed 5G allowing computers in electricity substations to communicate with each other in real time to balance loads and enable more clean energy technologies to connect to the network. Each substation will then be able to analyse millions of data points and manage the network to run more efficiently.

The project aims to help the UK’s net-zero carbon ambitions by creating extra room for renewables on the network. If rolled out across the UK, the solution offered by Constellation could save 63,702 tonnes of CO2 by 2050.

The project is funded by the Network Innovation Competition administered by Ofgem, and the Constellation project team will select multiple testing locations across UK Power Networks areas in the South East of England and at the University of Strathclyde’s Power Networks Demonstration Centre, a test facility near Glasgow.

Andrea Dona, chief network officer, Vodafone UK, said: “Helping our customers achieve their ambitious net-zero targets is an essential part of our strategy. The team at UK Power Networks has seen the huge potential of 5G and network slicing. 5G is not only replacing older and more expensive technologies, it is bringing about new capabilities that benefit everyone – consumers, businesses and our environment. We are looking forward to working with UK Power Networks on this exciting and innovative project.”

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