Cisco Partners with UK Power Network Demonstration Center

Cisco has recently partnered with the UK Power Network Demonstration Center (PNDC) to participate in multiple research projects and work with academics, network operators and industry partners. The PNDC’s aim is to transform the UK’s power grids and centers, which are facing increased pressure on the aging infrastructure, which is becoming too costly to run and maintain and is exposed to complex security risks. Future smart grids need to be able to cater for increased demand, but also provide monitoring and control services to ensure that outages are minimal. There’ll also be a focus on visibility, integration, automation and management of data.

Based at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, the PNDC is responsible for the research, testing and development of smart grid technologies in Britain. It was founded through support from the University of Strathclyde, The Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Power, and Scottish and Southern Energy. Its testing facilities include a real high-voltage 11kV and LV distribution network and laboratories – an ideal setting for testing and developing future smart grid technologies.

David Rutherford, the CEO of PNDC, stated “We are very excited to have Cisco join our membership. Connectivity will form the backbone of future smart grids capable of balancing demand and supply in real time on both sides of the meter. Smart systems and connectivity will play an important part in this future. Power network operators have significant challenges around visibility and connectivity to enable this smart digitalized environment. Cisco as a world-class IT provider [has] the strength, expertise and capacity to help accelerate and facilitate that change in a UK setting”.

Scot Gardner, CEO of Cisco UK  and Ireland, added,  “There are few sectors that have the potential to both impact and be impacted by digitization in such equal measure. With an anticipated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, the pressure placed on power networks – whether directly, or indirectly – is set to increase exponentially in the next decade. This is a pivotal point in time for the sector, and we are delighted to be partnering with the PNDC and its members to help address the opportunities that lie ahead.”