Project Overview

The purpose of MERLIN is to assist our understanding of how economics will impact future energy networks. In a future world forecasts suggest distributed energy resources (DER) will be fundamental in reducing costs associated with increasing energy demand from electric vehicles (EVs) and variable power flows from renewable generation. With hundreds, possibly thousands of DER services operating on our electricity network it will be essential that we are able to effectively manage these services not only from a physics perspective, but also from an economic perspective. MERLIN will make use of Canadian based Opus One’s GridOS tools to assist with economic modelling of future networks. This will help us understand the cost impact of DER services, allow us to make more informed investment decisions and assist in managing a wide ranging portfolio of DER services.


Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) SSEN own and operate over 130,000km of over overhead lines and underground cables and are responsible for the safe, reliable and cost effective distribution of electricity across its networks in the north of Scotland and south of England. UK energy networks are going through a period of significant change where Distributed Energy Networks (DNOs), such as SSEN, are taking on complex challenges as they transition towards Distribution System Operators (DSOs). SSEN is working across a broad spectrum of projects, such as Transition, LEO and MERLIN, which are designed to help our understanding on how we meet these future challenges most effectively.

Opus One Solutions
Opus One are a Canadian based company who have developed the GridOS platforms designed to assist those in the Energy Industry make smarter and more informed decisions. Their mission is to transform the way homes, communities, cities and grids interact in the Energy Internet.

Open Grid Systems Ltd (OGS)
OGS is a Glasgow based software and consultancy company providing services to the electrical power industry focussed on model-driven software engineering, open standards and cutting-edge technologies. OGS provides expertise in the areas of data management, information modelling, data transformation, data-exchange technologies, visualisation and power system network analysis software. We utilise the power of open standards and model-driven architectures to provide modern, scalable solutions to the challenges faced by utilities in the smart-grid enabled world.

University of Cambridge Energy Policy Research Group (EPRG)
The Cambridge EPRG research team have broad expertise in economics, technology policy and political science. Core research discipline is economics, within a framework that encourages collaboration between experts from different academic traditions, drawing on insights from engineering, political science and law. Through publications and via the Energy Policy Forum (EPF), the group offers rigorous independent research output that informs public and private sector decision making in the electricity and energy industry.

Hydro Ottawa Holding Inc
Hydro Ottawa is wholly-owned by the City of Ottawa and governed by an independent Board of Directors appointed by its shareholder. The company’s core businesses are electricity distribution, renewable energy generation and energy conservation and management services. Hydro Ottawa has over 1,116 square kilometres of service area with a customer base over 331,000.

Power Forward Challenge

MERLIN is part of the Power Forward Challenge, a joint UK/Canada government funded project. The aim of the challenge is to share technological innovations between the two countries in order to accelerate the development and implementation of smart technologies within the energy industry.