Tollgrade Communications, Inc. has announced that a new 50 Hz version of its LightHouse distribution line sensors has been successfully deployed at Western Power Distribution.  WPD is one of six electricity Distribution Network Operators in the United Kingdom responsible for the Midlands, South Wales, and the South West, delivering electricity to more than 7.7 million customers over a 55,300 square kilometer service area. It is leading a number of innovative, low carbon projects as part of the Low Carbon Network Fund, introduced by UK energy regulator, the Office of the Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem), to prepare for the electricity network of tomorrow – assisting the uptake of low carbon technologies, helping provide affordable and reliable solutions for energy users.

With this deployment, the LightHouse platform is providing WPD with real-time visibility into its distribution grid, allowing the network operator to improve reliability and optimize network planning as it eases its transition to a low-carbon future.

Distribution Network Operators such as WPD are expecting changes in the way electricity flows around the network, as consumers adopt low-carbon technologies including electric vehicles and heat pumps.  One initiative addressing this concern before it becomes reality is the Flexible Approaches to Low Carbon Optimised Networks (FALCON) project, a U.K. regulator-funded program that aims to improve the industry's understanding of infrastructure needs in a low-carbon environment.  WPD is working with innovative smart grid leaders such as Tollgrade to find the best ways to manage network problems expected to arise from low-carbon technologies and generation.  Tollgrade partnered with Powerline Technologies Limited, a leading U.K. supplier of smart grid equipment, to deliver the LightHouse platform to WPD as a part of Project FALCON.