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At the Energy Networks Association Low Carbon Networks and Innovation (LCNI) conference in Telford this week, Northern Powergrid has showcased a ground-breaking innovation and highlighted the contribution of small and medium enterprise (SME) pioneers in the energy space.

The Silent Power project has seen the development of a new electric response vehicle with an on-board energy storage system to supply homes while power is restored. It offers Northern Powergrid a quieter, cleaner alternative to the traditional diesel-powered generators currently used – meaning better air quality and less noise pollution for customers on its patch. Led by the innovation team at Northern Powergrid, the project brings together technology from exciting UK SMEs, Hyperdrive Innovation and Offgrid Energy to build and then trial the technology.

Visitors to Northern Powergrid’s stand will be able to see the vehicle prototype ahead of formal trials next year, and will even be able to enjoy a good cup of Yorkshire Tea with water boiled from the prototype.

“SMEs have a huge role to play in helping us achieve our commitment to deliver more for less for our customers. As we take strides towards our DSO transition and smarter, low carbon energy systems, our dedicated teams, the economy in the North and the services we provide to our 8 million customers, will be strengthened by some of the dynamic and fluid SME partnerships we’re progressing as part of our robust innovation strategy”, commented Iain Miller, Head of Innovation at Northern Powergrid.