The First Tier of the Low Carbon Networks (LCN) Fund allowed electricity Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) to recover a proportion of expenditure incurred on small scale projects. DNOs do not generally need to receive our approval before beginning a First Tier Project. The First Tier of the LCN Fund has now been replaced by the Networks Innovation Allowance (NIA).
The LCN Fund Governance Document required First Tier Projects to trial:
- a specific piece of new (ie unproven in Britain) equipment (including control and communications systems and software) that has a direct impact on the Distribution System
- a novel arrangement or application of existing Distribution System equipment (including control and communications systems and software)
- a novel operational practice directly related to the operation of the Distribution System
- a novel commercial arrangement with a Distribution System User
First Tier projects have to demonstrate that they:
- accelerate the development of a low carbon energy sector and have the potential to provide net financial benefit to future or existing customers
- have a direct impact on the operation of a DNO’s Distribution System
- generate new knowledge that can be shared amongst all DNOs
- focus on network methods that are at the trial stage
- do not lead to unnecessary duplication
- comply with the LCN Fund Governance Document
Licensees are required to publish their Project Registration Information and regular updates on all projects on the Energy Networks Association portal: Smarter Networks Portal.