Electricity Network Innovation Competition

As part of the RIIO price controls we introduced the Electricity Network Innovation Competition (NIC).

The Electricity NIC is an annual opportunity for electricity network companies to compete for funding for the development and demonstration of new technologies, operating and commercial arrangements. Funding will be provided for the best innovation projects which help all network operators understand what they need to do to provide environmental benefits, reduce costs, and maintain security as Great Britain (GB) moves to a low carbon economy. Up to £70m per annum is available through the Electricity NIC.

The 2018 Competition

We received six submissions to the Initial Screening Process of the 2018 Electricity NIC. We can confirm that the following four projects are eligible to proceed to the Full Submission stage. The deadline for Full Submission is 3rd August 2018.

Optimise Prime (UK Power Networks)

If funded, this project aims to understand and minimise the network impacts of electrifying commercial fleets and private hire vehicles, optimise the utilisation of existing network and charging infrastructure, and make the EV transition of commercial vehicles more seamless. By developing and testing a range of innovative technical and commercial solutions, the project will provide data to support a comprehensive understanding of the technical feasibility, customer response, network impact and cost effectiveness of smart technology to this sector and prove customer and network savings over traditional methods.

Refuelling Tomorrow (Scottish Power Energy Networks)

If funded, this project will engage with relevant stakeholders across network, transport, and planning to develop and trial Electric Vehicle (EV) charging solutions. The project will investigate the ability of smart control, storage, and Active Network Management (ANM) systems to provide lower connection and operational costs to customers. The project aims to develop a DNO led strategy to facilitate and accelerate the electrification of transport, and more specifically, the connection of charging infrastructure.

Revise (Western Power)

If funded, this project will develop a new standardised approach for the connection of distributed generation (DG) and low carbon technologies (LCTs).The project will investigate three technical methods (compact substation method, enhanced protection scheme method, and active network reconfiguration method) to release network capacity, improve DG and LCT connectivity, and enable intelligent control of the 33kV network system. The project aims to support the development of distribution system operation.

Black Start from Distributed Energy Resources (National Grid Electricity Transmission)

If funded, this project will trial how different types of distributed energy resources (DERs) can provide Black Start services and local restoration.  The proposed project will build on existing research in GB and internationally, and investigate if DERs are a viable solution to provide Black Start services, and how to coordinate stakeholders to best manage restoration efforts. The project aims to provide a commercial and regulatory framework for how Black Start services from DERs can be purchased and regulated.

The following projects are not eligible to proceed to the NIC full submission and be considered for funding:

Connection (Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks)

If funded, this project will develop a smart, analytical engine to improve network connection processes and customer experiences using new data sets such as smart metering data, secondary substation monitoring and LiDAR. The project aims to create a ‘one-stop-shop’ that will help increase visibility of flexible options for customers and will also help signpost competitive connections options.

Project Vision (Scottish Power Energy Networks)

If funded, this project will develop a common streamlined and efficient mechanism (life cycle assessment (LCA) tool) for the energy industry to help companies understand the environmental impact of their value chains and inform mitigation actions. The project will investigate and facilitate the understanding of where the significant environments environmental impacts are within the value chain and identify the opportunities for energy, process, and material efficiencies. The project aims to implement a cross-industry programme to reduce value chain inefficiencies and reduce environmental impact across GB.

Publications and updates

  • Published: 17th Dec 2014
  • Closed: 19th Jan 2015
  • Consultations and responses
  • 2 Associated documents
This is a statutory consultation on proposed modifications to Amended Standard Condition E12-J11 (The Network Innovation Competition) of the offshore transmission licence.

  • Published: 17th Dec 2014
  • Closed: 19th Jan 2015
  • Consultations and responses
  • 2 Associated documents
This is a statutory consultation on proposed modifications Special Condition 3I (The Network Innovation Competition) of National grid Electricity Transmissions’ licences.

  • Published: 17th Dec 2014
  • Closed: 19th Jan 2015
  • Consultations and responses
  • 2 Associated documents
This is a statutory consultation on proposed modifications Special Condition 3I (The Network Innovation Competition) of the Scottish transmission operators’ transmission licences.

  • Published: 24th Nov 2014
  • Factsheets
  • 1 Associated documents
This brochure describes the projects we have funded through this year's innovation competitions.

  • Published: 24th Nov 2014
  • Decisions
  • 2 Associated documents
Our decision on which projects we will fund under the 2014 Electricity Network Innovation Competition.

  • Published: 11th Jun 2014
  • Other
  • 4 Associated documents
These are the proforma, spreadsheet and guidance that the Network Licensees should use when completing their Full Submissions for the 2014 Electricity NIC.

  • Published: 17th Apr 2014
  • Reports and plans
  • 2 Associated documents
Screening submission for Modular Approach to Substation Construction (MASC) from Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission plc.

  • Published: 17th Apr 2014
  • Reports and plans
  • 2 Associated documents
Screening submission for New Suite of Transmission Structures (NeSTS) from Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission plc.

  • Published: 17th Apr 2014
  • Reports and plans
  • 2 Associated documents
Screening submission for South East Smart Grid (SESG) from National Grid Electricity Transmission Plc .

  • Published: 17th Apr 2014
  • Reports and plans
  • 2 Associated documents
Screening submission for Offshore Cable Repair Vessel and Universal Joint from TC Ormonde OFTO Limited (TC Lincs OFTO Limited) .

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