We’re delighted to have been granted £600k from Ofgem’s new Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) for six innovation projects.
The Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) is delivered in partnership with Innovate UK – the UK’s national innovation agency which supports business-led innovation in all sectors. SIF has been set up to address four key challenge areas facing the UK’s energy sector as we work towards achieving our net zero targets. The challenge areas are whole-system integration, data & digitalisation, zero emission transport and heat.
We’ve been successful in securing SIF funding for six critical projects which will address these challenges. These projects will ensure gas networks become greener, smarter, safer and more resilient as we progress through the energy transition and move towards a sustainable future.
The projects include ‘Velocity design with hydrogen’ which will assess how introducing hydrogen to our pipes will impact safety, integrity and environmental risk. This project will add to the already extensive evidence base for hydrogen heating including our world-leading green hydrogen project - H100 Fife.
Another exciting project is ‘NAVIGATION’ which will demonstrate how we can use the gas network infrastructure, as we evolve towards 100% renewable energy, for ultra-rapid EV charging for vehicles. That’s just a small taste of our SIF portfolio, which also includes projects focusing on predictive analytics to improve safety and the digitalisation of the gas grid.
Head of Innovation John Richardson said: “We’re thrilled to have secured the funding for six SIF projects. The energy industry is changing fast as we prepare to transition to net zero and these projects will be crucial in overcoming the challenges we’ll face and will deliver great benefits for our energy customers.”
SIF projects are funded progressively. After this initial two-month Discovery phase, projects will potentially progress into experimental development (Alpha phase). After this there will be a further selection process, with successful projects able to carry out large-scale demonstrations of their technologies (Beta phase).
We’re carrying out our work with our project partners including AWS, DNV, Farad.ai, IBM, IPG, SMPNet and Utonomy along with the support of other energy sectors.
Digital twin - Gas distribution network
For this project we'll test and demonstrate how the use of a digital twin, which is a virtual representation of our gas network, can help enhance our network decision-making across a range of challenges driven by the energy transition.
Digital twin - Green hydrogen
A data driven whole-system's approach will be required as we transition away from fossil fuels to hydrogen. We'll create a green hydrogen digital twin to help make hydrogen production at scale a reality.
Intelligent gas grid
This project builds on work we've done to develop an electronic actuator to remotely automate pressure control. We'll now combine this work with artificial intelligence and data digitalisation to look at possibilities of further developing a 'thinking' network to enhance network optimisation.
Predictive Safety Interventions
Our engineers use FYLD to perform virtual risk assessments in real time. We're expanding the capability of FYLD using predictive analytics so it can reduce the risk of our field teams even further and provide safety interventions.
NAVIGATION will demonstrate how we can use the gas network infrastructure, as we evolve towards 100% renewable energy, for ultra-rapid EV charging for vehicles.
Velocity design with hydrogen
This project will assess how introducing hydrogen to our pipes will impact safety, integrity and environmental risk.