The NINES aim to deliver a “smart grid” system for the Shetland Islands would not be possible without significant contributions from key stakeholders. The NINES project is led by Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution (SHEPD) in co-operation with Hjaltland Housing Association. Find out more about these parties and the role they have in the project under “Project Contributors” below.



The NINES project solutions require the participation of the local community in Shetland and a range of energy industry companies. If you live in Shetland you also have an opportunity to participate in one of our innovative technology trials. Click on “Local Community” below to know why Shetland’s inhabitants play an important role in our project and what trials you can participate in.

Industry Interests” introduces the other parties within energy sector that play a role in delivering our project.


Project Contributors

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN)

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) own electricity networks comprising 106,000 substations and 130,000 km of overhead lines and underground cables across one third of the UK, delivering energy to around 3.5 million homes and businesses. SSEN are responsible for the delivery of all aspects of the project.

University of Strathclyde

The University is responsible for development of a series of models that will identify and develop the complex interactions of the Shetland electricity network, that represents vital understanding in the development of “smart grid” applications.

The Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering is providing models for Unit Scheduling; System Development Optimisation; Power system dynamics.

The Energy Systems Research Unit is providing a Customer Demand Forecast model.

The Department of Management Science is providing a Strategic and Operational Risk model.

The Department of Economics is providing an Economic and Commercial model.

Hjaltland Housing Association

Hjaltland Housing Association Ltd is the main independent housing agency in the Shetland Islands. Hjaltland aims to deliver a high quality housing service to communities throughout Shetland and is committed to ensuring remote communities remain viable through a culture of sustainability and continuous improvement.

The Association is liaising with the community to facilitate the domestic demand side management trial. Advanced electric storage heating and water heating systems will be installed in around 234 homes, providing greater comfort and control to the occupants. The Association is also partly funding the trials.

Shetland Heat Energy and Power (SHEAP)

SHEAP operates the existing Lerwick District Heating scheme. The company is installing a new electrical boiler as part of an upgrade and extension of the district heating scheme. The new boiler will optimise the use of renewable generation from the 6.9 MW windfarm at Gremista, and allow improved management of the network.

Smarter Grid Solutions

Smarter Grid Solutions (SGS) provides innovative smart grid control systems and power systems consultancy for power companies. SGS products and services help network operators connect more low carbon technologies to the existing grid and defer or remove the need for expensive and time-consuming grid reinforcements.

SGS is working on the development and deployment of the Active Network Management (ANM) scheme for NINES, which will control the other smart grid technologies and ensure they work together to balance energy generation and demand efficiently.

The company delivers the necessary solutions to implement smart grid systems on the Islands.


Local Community

Shetland’s community is very important to the NINES project. Everything we are trialling aims to deliver a comfortable lifestyle for the local community in the short and long term via reliable electricity supply and use of smart energy technologies. To achieve the key NINES objective of providing affordable, reliable and sustainable electricity for Shetland, active customer involvement is essential to understand the issues that islanders face with regards to energy supply.

Customer Feedback

The NINES project aims to make Shetland’s energy generation and supply secure, reliable and affordable thus benefitting the entire Shetland community. Therefore it is very important to know what customers think about the new technologies. We are trialling new smart space and water heating technologies in 234 homes in Shetland and we will regularly review what customers think about the new installations. Receiving customer feedback helps us to ensure that any new products are appropriate and easy to use for everyone.

We have already received some feedback from householders involved in a pilot project to trial the smart heating systems, as detailed below:

Household A:

“I think I’m pretty lucky because I’ve got a new heating system which I’m very happy with. Certainly the heater has been a benefit and it’s a better heater, you’re getting more convection out the bottom. The whole thing is better.”

Household B:

This household found the heaters much more controllable:

“It’s a very manageable system, there are more options for times for heating the house and it’s just very user friendly.”

Mr C:

The household normally pay their energy bills by monthly direct debit for a fixed amount, but have not had to increase this since the start of the trial:

“We were due to get a 12% increase in our normal bill, our standard tariff, but even with that going in we haven’t had to increase our monthly payments, well, that was going back to last September, so since then we’ve really noticed – I mean during the summer months we don’t use it much anyway. So we got about £250 over payment that we’d made by the end of the summer and from September we pegged back the payment to what it was before and we haven’t had any overspend or underspend since then so it’s definitely made a difference.”


Industry Interests

The scale and nature of the project means that there are a number of other energy industry members that are involved and interested in NINES. Some of the key industry stakeholders are listed below. However, many other industry parties such as other utility companies, smart grid technology suppliers, researchers and policy makers will be interested in the outcomes of the project. Sharing knowledge with these groups is vital to the understanding of smart grids, associated technologies and customer reactions. We will use our Publications pages to share information as learning is generated.


Ofgem is the Office of the Gas and Electricity Markets. Ofgem protects customers by promoting competition in the energy sector and regulating monopoly companies that run the gas and electricity networks.

Ofgem recognised the value of the NINES project in addressing the current challenges on Shetland and adjusted Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution allowed revenue via amended energy distribution licence conditions to provide funding for the project.


DECC (Department for Energy and Climate Change)  strives to ensure global competitiveness and develop low carbon energy economy in the UK.