Competition in onshore transmission

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 successful outcome of a tender would see us  grant a licence to a competitively appointed transmission owner (CATO).

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.

Our role

We decided early in 2015 to introduce competition for who builds, finances, owns and operates parts of Britian's onshore electricity transmission system.  We are about halfway through developing the policy and supporting documents that will enable us to tender onshore transmission assets, and plan to be able to run the first onshore tender in late 2017 - early 2018.

We have published three consultation documents to date; setting out:

We have developed a quick reference guide to CATO policy development which covers the key policy proposals we are currently working on, and the policy decisions we have already made. You can find this guide in the publications section at the bottom of this page.

Next steps

We are considering the responses to our recent consultation which outlined the tender model and market offering proposals for competitive tendering of onshore transmission assets.

We have recently published a new consultation on licence changes for supporting project identification, pre-tender activities and mitigation of conflicts in the late CATO model. We welcome stakeholder views on this consultation.

We welcome stakeholders views and we will be holding stakeholder workshops during the consultation period. To register your interest in attending one of these workshops, please email us.

We are also happy to meet with stakeholders to discuss any aspects of implementing competition in onshore electricity transmission. If you would like to organise a meeting, please email us.

We will continue to develop policy for tendering onshore transmission assets, taking into account stakeholder views.  We expect to consult stakeholders in Spring 2017 on how the proposed tender process would work for specific projects that are already in the pipeline.

We continue to monitor and assess potential Strategic Wider Works (SWW) projects for their suitability for competition. For a list of potential projects please refer to the NOA or the SWW page on our website.

Need help?

We’ll publish updates on the policy as it develops, alongside guidance on the tender process in the publications and updates feed below.

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

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

Publications and updates

  • Published: 16th Jan 2017
  • Expected: Jul 2017
  • Consultations & responses
  • 0 Associated documents
Upcoming consultation: Consultation on further details regarding tender models, processes, and commercial and regulatory arrangements for competitively appointed transmission owner tenders.

  • Published: 15th Dec 2016
  • Expected: Feb 2017
  • Consultations & responses
  • 0 Associated documents
Upcoming consultation: The statutory consultation will follow on from our November consultation and will seek final views on the proposals, and how effectively they implement our policy decisions.

  • Published: 14th Dec 2016
  • Closed: 24th Feb 2017
  • Consultations & responses
  • 2 Associated documents
This consultation sets out our initial views on National Grid’s proposed North West Coast Connections project and its suitability for competitive tendering.

  • Published: 25th Nov 2016
  • Decisions
  • 1 Associated documents
This document provides our decision on the proposals set out in the ECIT: criteria, pre-tender and conflict mitigation arrangements consultation published in May 2016.

  • Published: 25th Nov 2016
  • Guidance
  • 1 Associated documents
This document provides an overview of the key policy proposals and decisions related tot he development of the CATO regime for the tendering of onshore electricity transmission assets.

  • Published: 25th Nov 2016
  • Closed: 27th Jan 2017
  • Consultations & responses
  • 11 Associated documents
We are consulting on proposed modifications to electricity transmission licences to implement onshore electricity transmission competition policy. This is focused on the RIIO-T1 price control period.

  • Published: 4th Aug 2016
  • Closed: 29th Sep 2016
  • Consultations & responses
  • 17 Associated documents
We're consulting on the process we plan to use to select competitively appointed transmission owners (CATOs) and how we propose to regulate them, including what incentives and obligations CATOs will have.

  • Published: 27th May 2016
  • Closed: 22nd Jul 2016
  • Consultations & responses, Decisions
  • 17 Associated documents
Consultation on the arrangements for competitive tendering in onshore electricity transmission.

  • Published: 15th Dec 2015
  • Agendas, minutes and presentations
  • 1 Associated documents
Presentation slides from our Extending Competition in Electricity Transmission stakeholder event on 7 December 2015.

  • Published: 19th Oct 2015
  • Closed: 11th Jan 2016
  • Consultations & responses
  • 39 Associated documents
We are consulting on arrangements for competitive tenders in onshore electricity transmission.