GE smart grid technology could transform Milton Keynes (UK) into a world-class, low-carbon city. GE and electricity distributor Central Networks have submitted a proposal to UK energy regulator Ofgem in an effort to secure a slice of its £500m Low Carbon Networks Fund.
The MKSmart2020 Project is aimed at demonstrating how a low carbon energy network might operate, as well as gather operational data. GE would focus on the smart grid initiatives within the project that would improve the efficiency, reliability and understanding of energy supply — from generation to consumption. If successful, Milton Keynes could become a world-class example of what a low carbon energy infrastructure can achieve.
“There is no single solution that transforms a city from today’s carbon-heavy energy model to a clean smart city model,” said Keith Redfearn, general manager—digital energy, Northern Europe for GE Energy Services. “Using what we’ve learned from deploying smart grid solutions around the world, we’re proposing a holistic transformation that upgrades basic infrastructure to state-of-the-art energy management systems. The citizens of Milton Keynes could have capabilities and opportunities they never had before.”
Winning project proposals will be announced in December 2010. If the Milton Keynes proposal is successful, the project could begin in early 2011.
Milton Keynes is a town that gets regularly pilloried for its endless roundabouts and generally soulless feel – at first sight it seems to be a shopping centre and not much else. It’s partly due to the fact that it’s one of the UK ‘new towns’, built from scratch from the late 1960s, which also means that it’s one of the very few UK towns built in a grid layout.
Anyway, given its history it seems quite appropriate that it should be the focus for the implementation on new technology which will be essential for the future. It would also give the residents the last laugh.