New Zealand Chooses Transform Model For Low Carbon Network Planning

Global sales for ‘ground-breaking’ tool that could save British distributors US$16bn

by Mark Sprawson | Sunday 21 December 2014

New Zealand is the latest country to choose EA Technology’s Transform Model® to evaluate the technical and economic effects on distribution networks of the accelerating arrival of disruptive low carbon technologies, including electric vehicles, heat pumps, solar PV and electricity storage.

Transform Model® is a new techno-economic modelling tool, developed by EA Technology for the UK regulator Ofgem and DECC (Department of Energy and Climate Change), who describe it as a ‘ground-breaking smart grid evaluation model’ and ‘world-leading in its approach to this challenging area’. Its development has been funded through the UK Energy Networks Association, with support from National Grid and DNOs (Distribution Network Operators).

All six DNOs in Great Britain have adopted Transform Model® to support submissions to Ofgem, proposing strategies needed to adapt networks for new low carbon technologies in 2015-2023. The result has been a US$320 million lower network investment requirement, compared with conventional ‘reactive reinforcement’ approaches. For example, 28,000km fewer cables will be needed in the UK between now and 2030. Potential savings of US$16 billion are expected to 2050.

Transform Model® uniquely enables operators to analyse future network requirements, based on a range of possible smart grid/low carbon scenarios, changing year-by-year up to 2050. They can then compare the cost/benefits of traditional or smart grid engineering approaches, or combinations of both.

The New Zealand project has been group funded by all electricity distribution network members of the NZ ENA (Electricity Networks Association), providing each of them with access to Transform Model® licences at special rates, based on company size. It is being carried out under a contract between the NZ ENA and EA Technology, and is the first major investigative programme to emerge from the recently formed NZ Smart Grid Forum

NZ ENA Chair Ken Sutherland said: “Transform Model® will enable NZ operators to identify optimal decisions for network planning and investment, by comparing traditional engineering approaches to smart and hybrid models.

“The ability to model optimal investment approaches to deal with disruptive technologies will be a key resource in managing the risks of the ‘death spiral’ seen overseas – and identifying opportunities for new business models presented by innovations such as electric vehicles.”


Neil Davies
EA Technology Ltd
+44 (0) 151 339 4181

Sunday 21 December 2014 / file under Power | Environmental | Engineering | Energy