What we will do and why

Making substations smart by installing computers in them to analyse and reconfigure the network based on specific conditions to increase the resilience of the distribution network, free up capacity and allow more renewable generation to connect.

Key deliverables

  • Smart substation architecture, design and implementation.
  • Site-to-site communication using a slice of the public 5G network.

Target outcomes

  • Reduced curtailment for distributed energy resources (DER).
  • Release network capacity for distributed generation connections.
  • Increased ability to connect DER to the distribution network.

Measures of success

  • Percentage reduction in curtailment of distributed energy resources (DER).
  • Increased stakeholder satisfaction.
  • Increased network utilisation.
  • Improved network resilience.

Stakeholder Engagement

As part of Constellation we carried out three engagement sessions with stakeholders from the wider industry to validate the smart substation solutions. We carried out workshops with:

  • Technology developers in the energy and IT industry.
  • Other Distribution Network Operators (DNO) in GB.
  • Owners of Distributed Energy Resources (DER).

The outputs from these sessions validated the need to enhance substations and make them smart.

Public Detailed Docs

Planned start:


Target completion:


Key milestones:

  • Trials of the solutions at the Power Networks Demonstration Centre (Dec 2023)
  • Trials of the solutions in two UK Power Networks areas (May 2025)
  • Project close down and reporting (Sep 2026)
  • Preparation for deployment into business as usual (Sep 2026)



Date of change Category Description
28.06.2024 Update

The project completion date moved from September 2025 to September 2026 due to off site testing held at The Power Networks Demonstration Centre requiring more time to be completed, which is necessary to fully de-risk the project before moving on to the network trial.

22.12.2023 Update

Added stakeholder engagement information and additional detail.