Last year National Grid completed a rollout of its £70 million Integrated Gas Management System (IGMS), which will allow the company to control gas transmissions throughout the UK.
The system, which has been driven by changing regulations in the energy sector, aims to match supply and demand and integrate physical control of gas emissions with financial decision making by analysing 20m pieces of data each hour from telemetry systems on the transmission grid. The Java-based system runs on Unix, Windows and Sun servers, and was developed with Indian firm Wipro and links to gas forecasting software from Advantica. The company has also installed data back-up systems.
National Grid changed its name last year from National Grid Transco to underpin a unifying identity and because its old name could not be used in the US. The company owns an electricity transmission network in the US, as well as operating the high voltage transmission system of electricity in England and Wales. It also runs the high-pressure gas national transmission system in the UK and has a huge presence in the UK gas distribution market. Last year it sold four UK gas distribution networks for £5.8 billion, but still owns and operates the largest gas distribution network in the UK, delivering gas to around 11m gas users.
National Grid is also the UK’s largest independent provider of towers and masts on which mobile phone operators site their dishes, and one of two providers of broadcast transmission towers in the UK for the BBC and BSkyB.