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Scilly Island

Western Power Distribution

Isles of Scilly Project

How to incorporate renewables into the grid is a challenge facing all UK utilities as the country strives to reduce its carbon footprint. Because the Scilly Islands have a self-contained energy network, the project provided Western Power Distribution (WPD) with an ideal test bed for Smart Grid communications in an 11 kV network.

Project details

Isles of Scilly (England)

Grid management in an 11 kV network


IP connection to all substations; System management with SNMPv3; Data delivered via BPL network to WPD’S ENMAC system

Western Power Distribution

Western Power Distribution (WPD) consists of four electricity distribution companies. All companies act as distribution network operators for their respective regions and are registered in Bristol, England. WPD currently manages around 7.7 million customers through the combined sales territories. WPD is a subsidiary of the American utility PPL.

“We were very impressed with the ease and speed of installation of PPC’s equipment both at ground level and on the overhead lines,”

Ben Godfrey, Innovation and Low Carbon Networks Engineer, WPD

Testing Smart Grid

PPC and WPD are supporting the Isles of Scilly Council in their drive to conserve energy and include renewables in their supply, in particular making the most of their sunny climate with photovoltaic (PV) installations.

Using Broadband Powerline (BPL) to turn the grid itself into a communications platform, PPC and WPD have demonstrated that detailed, real-time information and remote network monitoring and management are remarkably easy to achieve.

The system relies on a hybrid installation of Broadband Powerline (BPL) communications – using the power grid itself to carry the energy data – supplemented with radio communications to connect the islands. Modems installed in substations transmit data around the medium to high voltage network, to and from WPD’s SCADA system.

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