Competition in onshore transmission

Delivery of large onshore electricity transmission projects

Our role is to ensure that new large onshore electricity transmission projects that are needed are delivered efficiently.

We do this through:

  • regulating the delivery of these projects by incumbent Transmission Owners (TOs), via our Strategic Wider Works (SWW) mechanism; or
  • introducing competition into the delivery of these projects.

In January 2018 we published an update to our plans to introduce competition into onshore electricity transmission, available here, and a consultation on our proposal relating to the regulatory treatment of the Hinkley - Seabank project.

Competitive Framework

One of the key decisions from our Integrated Transmission Planning and Regulation project, was that new, separable and high value onshore transmission assets should be competitively tendered. This is to ensure value for consumers, with potential reduced costs and increased innovation.

The process will build on our offshore transmission regime which grants licences on the basis of competitive tendering. The regime has led to considerable savings for consumers of between £600m and £1.2bn since its implementation in 2009.

We have been working to develop the legislation, policy and supporting documents that would enable us to tender onshore electricity transmission assets. Our previous consultations and decisions on our proposed Competitively Appointed Transmission Owner (CATO) regime are available in the ‘Publications and updates’ section of this webpage. We have also developed a quick reference guide to CATO policy development, which covers the key policy decisions we have already made. We are currently considering alternative options to CATOs for introducing competition into the delivery of onshore electricity transmission. We will take forward further development of the CATO regime once there is greater clarity on the timing of enabling legislation.

For a list of potential projects to be considered for competition, please refer to page 101 of the GB System Operator’s 2018 Network Options Assessment report or the SWW page on our website.

Need help?

This page sets out information on the policy and processes around delivery of large onshore electricity transmission projects. If you're looking for information on other aspects of onshore electricity transmission, please refer to the transmission networks page.

If you can’t find the information you’re looking for, email us.

Publications and updates

  • Published: 24th Sep 2019
  • Open letters and correspondence
  • 1 Associated documents
Following on from our RIIO-2 Sector Specific Methodology Decision, this letter provides further clarification as to what we expect to see in the Electricity System Operator’s Early Competition Plan.

  • Published: 16th Sep 2019
  • Decisions
  • 1 Associated documents
This document outlines our decision to conditionally approve a transmission link to Orkney, subject to certain conditions being met by December 2021.

  • Published: 12th Sep 2019
  • Open letters and correspondence
  • 1 Associated documents
See our letter providing an update on the proposed Shetland Isles and Western Isles electricity transmission projects.

  • Published: 29th May 2019
  • Closed: 10th Jul 2019
  • Consultations and responses
  • 4 Associated documents
This consultation sets out our views on a proposal by SHEPD to contribute financially towards proposed electricity transmission links to three Scottish Islands.

  • Published: 19th Mar 2019
  • Closed: 31st May 2019
  • Consultations and responses
  • 4 Associated documents
A consultation on the Western Isles transmission project needs case and delivery model.

  • Published: 19th Mar 2019
  • Closed: 31st May 2019
  • Consultations and responses
  • 5 Associated documents
A consultation on the Shetland transmission project needs case and delivery model.

  • Published: 12th Feb 2019
  • Closed: 14th Mar 2019
  • Consultations and responses
  • 2 Associated documents
A statutory consultation on proposed modifications to standard condition C27 of the electricity transmission licence.

  • Published: 12th Feb 2019
  • Guidance
  • 1 Associated documents
This document is our Guidance on the Criteria for Competition.

  • Published: 14th Dec 2018
  • Closed: 8th Feb 2019
  • Consultations and responses
  • 4 Associated documents
This consultation sets out our views on Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission’s proposed Orkney project, which would connect the Orkney islands to the main transmission network in Great Britain.

  • Published: 22nd Oct 2018
  • News and blogs, Open letters and correspondence
  • 1 Associated documents
Ofgem is forming an ECIT Industry Group focusing on the development and delivery of the SPV model.

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