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, cost reductions and security of supply as Great Britain (GB) moves to a low carbon economy. Up to £70m per annum is available through the Electricity NIC.
The 2017 Competition
The deadline for full submissions was 7 August 2017. We received seven submissions for the 2017 Electricity NIC seeking a total of £66.2m. We will announce which projects we have approved for funding in November 2017:
Fusion (Scottish Power Distribution)
This project will trial commoditised local demand-side flexibility through a structured and competitive market-based framework, enabling the DNO and all market actors to unlock the value of local network flexibility. The project will aim to demonstrate how DNOs can harness this flexibility to efficiently manage modernised networks.
LV Engine (Scottish Power Distribution)
This project will carry out a trial of Solid State Transformers at secondary substations for the purpose of enhancing network flexibility and releasing additional capacity within existing low voltage infrastructure to facilitate the increasing uptake of Low Carbon Technologies.
Power Saver Plus (Electricity North West Limited)
This project will trial customer-focused energy efficiency measures led by DNOs. It will develop an evaluation tool for DNOs and other stakeholders to identify the most effective mix of efficiency measures, designed to reduce network costs, reduce bills for customers and reduce CO2 emissions.
Active Response - Active Response to Distribution Network Constraints (London Power Networks)
This project builds on existing innovation to address network constraints to the uptake of low carbon technologies. It proposes to develop and demonstrate advanced automation and power electronic devices at low / high voltage levels, enabling increased network meshing where it is not currently possible. This will release network capacity quickly, at minimum cost and avoiding traditional reinforcement.
EFFS - Electricity Flexibility and Forecasting System (Western Power Distribution)
This project is trialling how to improve load forecasting to identify long-term opportunities for flexibility services and support short-term flexibility service decision making and co-ordination. This assesses and trials the functionality of flexibility support systems.
HARP - Holistic Active and Reactive Project (Western Power Distribution)
This project is trialling new network equipment to control power flows across the 132kV and 66kV networks. It will aim to release capacity to accommodate future growth in embedded generation and electricity demand from new low carbon technology.
Transition (Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks)
This project TRANSITION will design and demonstrate the tools needed to deliver the Distribution System Operator (DSO) models being proposed by the ENA TSO-DSO Open Networks Project. The project TRANSITION aims to de-risk and facilitate the transition from DNO to DSO.