Baringa Partners with Energy Networks Association

Baringa with Energy Networks Association

Change and Transformation in the Private Sector

MCA Awards Finalist 2024In the UK, there has been a significant increase in the installation of low-carbon technologies (LCTs) such as solar panels and electric vehicle (EV) chargers as part of the country’s efforts to achieve a net-zero economy. The process of connecting these LCTs to the grid has long been complex and time-consuming, posing challenges to the transition towards a cleaner and more sustainable future. To address these challenges, the Energy Networks Association (ENA) and Baringa collaborated to streamline the connections application process, enabling a more efficient and widespread adoption of LCTs.

Before the implementation of the ENA Connect Direct platform, Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) responsible for managing the infrastructure faced various issues. The application processes varied across different DNOs, and each had limited visibility of the LCTs being installed, making it difficult to ensure the infrastructure could safely accommodate the growing demand.

Recognising the need for a standardised and streamlined process, ENA and Baringa collaborated to develop the ENA Connect Direct platform. This collaboration aimed to digitise, modernise, and standardise the connections application process, making it easier for installers and improving data quality for the DNOs. Baringa’s expertise in LCT devices, artificial intelligence (AI), and solution delivery played a crucial role in creating a solution that met the needs of both installers and DNOs.

One of the primary goals of the project was to enhance the efficiency of connections approvals. Installers are required to provide a photo of the cut-out (devices installed to regulate the flow of power into the property) when applying for a new connection. AI models were trained to determine if the photo depicted a cut-out, its type, and the overall condition of the cut-out. This AI system enabled instant approval or identification of further inspection.

The ENA Connect Direct platform introduced a user-friendly interface that was designed to be intuitive, allowing installers to create applications quickly without external support. It incorporates smart filtering and dynamic mechanisms to prevent errors. The platform’s accessibility and flexibility encourage wider adoption among installers.
Furthermore, the platform addressed the DNOs’ need for improved data quality and standardisation. By digitising the application process, the platform ensured accurate and consistent data collection from installers. The standardised approach also facilitated collaboration and knowledge sharing among the DNOs, driving further advancements in the industry.

Following an ambitious delivery phase, the ENA Connect Direct platform was successfully launched, with subsequent releases further refining its capabilities. The collaboration between ENA, Baringa, and all seven DNOs played a pivotal role in standardising the connections application process.

The ENA Connect Direct platform has laid the foundation for a more efficient and future-ready process for connecting LCTs. It empowers installers, improves data quality for the DNOs, and accelerates the adoption of low-carbon technologies driving the UK towards a cleaner, more sustainable future by facilitating the seamless integration of low-carbon technologies into the grid.

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