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National Grid issues Electricity Margin Notice

Second warning in three weeks comes as utility grapples with buffer shortfall

Dominic Ellis
|Nov 4|magazine5 min read

National Grid's Electricity Margin Notice (EMN) remains in place Wednesday evening, ahead of England returning to lockdown on Thursday, as it strives to increase its spare capacity buffer.

While the utility operator tweeted that the EMN is a "routine signal", demand has dropped around 10 percent in recent weeks and the notice serves as a clarion call for the market to provide more capacity. The system is likely to be particularly tight between 16.30-18.30GMT.

"The tight margins on the electricity system are the result of a number of factors including the weather, demand for electricity and availability of generators," it stated.

Last month UK consumers and businesses were warned that the grid's cushion of spare capacity had been cut due to low winds and a number of generator outages. 

National Grid Partners, the investment and innovation arm of National Grid, recently announced two new investments in data analytics startups that use AI to protect critical infrastructure and reduce costs. NGP led both funding rounds with $6M in combined investment. 

New additions to its portfolio are:

  • Boston-based Aperio Systems, which uses AI and machine learning (ML) to analyse and monitor industrial sensor data in real time. Aperio’s data integrity platform enables customers in industries such as energy, mining and manufacturing to make better-informed decisions, reduce downtime and boost safety and security. 
  • Silicon Valley’s AiDash uses high-resolution satellite imagery coupled with AI to help utility and energy customers transform operations and maintenance activities like vegetation management, remote monitoring and disaster management. Its technology helps protect distribution grids from overgrown plant life that can spark disruptions or fires.

“National Grid’s ambition is to become the most intelligent transmission network in the world,” said Lisa Lambert, the company’s Chief Technology and Innovation Officer and the founder and president of National Grid Partners. “We are investing in and deploying technologies across our networks to enhance resilience and reliability, while more easily integrating clean energy.” 

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