Thursday, 17 May 2012

GridKey delivers a stepping stone to UK smart grids

GridKey, the collaboration between Selex Galileo and Sentec, has announced the first delivery of its low voltage network monitoring system to Electricity North West (ENW) in the UK. ENW will be installing GridKey systems in one hundred substations as part of a Low Carbon Network Fund project. The substation monitoring system is seen as the first step to a smart grid.

Last September Sentec, the smart grid and smart metering specialist, announced its collaborating with Selex Galileo, which designs and manufactures sensors. GridKey is the result of that collaboration, with the low voltage (LV) monitoring solution based on Sentec’s Iris sensor technology.

GridKey provides continuous remote monitoring of substations. It can be retro-fitted without interrupting supply to customers and will fit most installations. It gives Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) more detailed information on the state of their LV grid so they can manage the network better.


ENW is installing GridKey as part of a Low Carbon Network Fund project. The £500 Fund was established by gas and electricity regulator Ofgem for DNOs to try out new technology and commercial arrangements to help them understand what they need to do to adapt to a low carbon economy.


We’re going to see a lot more of these collaborations, establishing new organisations to address smart grid requirements. They need extensive information and control systems to be in place to be effective, so its a huge opportunity for a whole range of suppliers of hardware and software. If they’re really successful such organisations will be floated away from their owners, which may well be what they have in mind in the first place.

It’s good to see that GridKey has a British pedigree. Sentec is Cambridge-based and Selex Galileo is now a UK/Italian firm. GridKey is based in Essex.

© The Green IT Review

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