Innovation Exchange challenge: Vehicle based internet access solutions for remote locations

SSE Renewables Hydro want to find solutions which enable the use of company vehicles as reliable communications hubs for their operational staff in remote locations.

Opportunity Details


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Successful applicants will be given the opportunity to pitch their innovation to SSE. Selected solution(s) will be trialled at SSE Renewables Hydro sites, with the possibility of further adoption upon successful trials.

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SSE Renewables Hydro is the owner and operator of eight hydro schemes in the north of Scotland and is developing more. Assets are geographically dispersed, large in terms of ground coverage and often in remote or rural areas, which makes the problem of internet connectivity for staff particularly challenging. Currently SSE Renewables Hydro’s operations struggle with access to the internet when operating within the wider Hydro catchment areas .

This lack of connectivity causes difficulty for the business to track staff & ensure safety, as there is not always reliable network coverage across the vast, remote areas in which their staff members work. Productivity is impacted, and extra travel in remote areas can also create additional risk for staff.

The Challenge

SSE Renewables Hydro invite solutions which enable the use of staff vehicles as reliable communications hubs for their operational staff to access the internet in remote locations.

The solution should:

  • Create a network which allows staff to access the internet from their vehicle and in an area around the vehicle
  • Have at least 10 Mbps download speed for 1 user (greater speeds preferred)
  • Have greater than 99% reliability
  • Have robust network security
  • Be cost effective
  • Be retrofittable (i.e. not require any new vehicles)
  • Not take up too much space within vehicle
  • Be able to connect different devices such as laptops, tablets & phones
  • Enable access systems required for day to day operations – Maximo, Teams, Email Clients
  • Be easily moved from vehicle to vehicle (desirable; not required)
  • Device must be able to operate from a standard 12V DC vehicle power outlet
  • Device must be suitably robust to withstand day-to-day use and manual handling in the field.
  • Device must be able to operate in the ambient temperatures of north Scotland (approx. -5°C to 25°C)

Applicants are encouraged to provide the following details for their solution:

  • Typical connection speeds (upload/download)
  • Distance from unit at which network connection can be maintained
  • Geographical coverage of north Scotland (coverage map preferred)
  • Indicative costs

The solution should be fully deployable for pilot testing 3-6 months after completion of the competition process.


Entrants to this competition must be:

  • Established businesses, start-ups, SMEs, academics or individual entrepreneurs
  • UK based or have the intention to set up a UK base

Partnerships and consortia of organisations are welcome to apply to this competition.


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