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.

We have recently published an update to our plans to introduce competitive tendering for onshore electricity transmission, available here.

We expect to consult on the needs case and our competition assessment for the Hinkley to Seabank SWW project later this summer. In that consultation we will also set out further thinking around options for introducing competition into the delivery of other new, separable and high value (£100m or over) projects.

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 2017 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: 30th Aug 2017
  • Closed: 11th Oct 2017
  • Consultations and responses
  • 2 Associated documents
Consultation on our assessment of the Final Needs Case and potential delivery models for National Grid's Hinkley Seabank project.

  • Published: 14th Jul 2017
  • Decisions
  • 1 Associated documents
An update on our assessment of National Grid’s proposed North West Coast Connections project.

  • Published: 27th Jun 2017
  • Open letters and correspondence
  • 1 Associated documents
This letter provides an update on our plans to introduce competitive tendering into onshore electricity transmission and our plans for future regime development.

  • Published: 14th Dec 2016
  • Closed: 24th Feb 2017
  • Consultations and responses
  • 45 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 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 and 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 and responses
  • 17 Associated documents
We're consulting on the process to select competitively appointed transmission owners (CATOs) and how we propose to regulate them.

  • Published: 27th May 2016
  • Closed: 22nd Jul 2016
  • Consultations and 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.