ENDS will keep the lights on all over London, according to the Electricity Board’s Technical Sevices Engineer, Keith Boardman. The London Board believes it is to become the first electricity distributor in the world to implement a computer graphics system for monitoring and controlling the distribution and allocation of energy resources across an entire network. Due to come on line in April 1990, the system is marketed by GEC Measurements, and based on a UKP1.3m software package developed by Graphic Information Systems Ltd. The company – based in Blairgowrie, Perthshire, Scotland, specialises in network control systems, and turned over UKP2.6m last year. The Energy Network Distribution System – or ENDS – replaces the existing paper based wall chart and desk diagram system, and, integrated with the Board’s existing telecontrol system, records the status of all switches in the network, allowing engineers to see what is happening at a glance. Views of any part of the Board network can be accessed: starting with a global outline users zoom in through successive windows which descend in resolution, until the required view is displayed. This may be anything from the geographic location of main switching stations right down to wiring diagrams of small circuits in substations. The disparate information sources presently needed to manage the network are combined in an Oracle database, accessed via Tektronix graphics workstations linked to a DEC VAX mini. Back-up is provided by duplication of the entire system. Loading the database is estimated to take a year, and the whole exercise is inexorably linked to the task of fattening up the calf for market – impending electricity privatisation.