Power Distribution System Automation Challenges : Experts Speak

Power Distributions systems around the world are largely unintelligent – they are majorly electrical and mechanical systems. One of the biggest challenges facing Power and Utility companies is making the distribution systems smart- and having the ability to monitor, operate and organise distribution system components and automate it.

We asked the experts from our panel at Distribution System Automation Forum 2022 about the biggest challenges of automating power distribution systems.

Sjors van der Heijden, Stedin


As energy sector, we face new challenges and tech trends can help to deal with them. As an alternative for known product lines and business models, edge platforms create possibilities for local processing and in the future decentral managed grids. With open platforms hard- and software are not necessarily fixed to each other

Sjors van der Heijden, Strategist – Grid automation, Stedin, The Netherlands

Michael Kenny, National Grid ESO

‘’The need to meet and fully fund, the ESRS requirements, for each restoration zone, by 2026 will throw a spotlight on DNO capability to rise to this challenge and deliver the standard against a backdrop of a diminishing base of fossil-fuelled, large transmission-connected generation and manage the complexity of using mainly embedded generation.’’

Michael Kenny, Organisation & Systems Lead – Distributed Restart Project, National Grid ESO, UK
Dozie Nnabuife ,National Grid Eso


“Some key challenges to using distributed system automation for system restoration include amongst others the quality of data or accurate metering data for accurate decision making, cyber security considerations as a result of increased attack surface due to the interconnection of systems across organisations and sustaining power resilience of end to end active devices during power outage’
Dozie Nnabuife, System Specialist – Distributed Restart Project, National Grid ESO, UK

Distribution Systems Automation Forum 2022 gathers professionals and decision-makers responsible for the DSO market to discuss the future of smart distribution technology implementation, distribution automation, and grid modernization to maximize profit and drive effective grid operations

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