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, 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

We received seven submissions for the 2017 Electricity NIC seeking a total of £63.9 million. We have decided to fund five of these projects. The successful projects will receive a total of £42.4 million

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.

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.

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.

Publications and updates

  • Published: 30th Nov 2017
  • Reports and plans
  • 1 Associated documents
This brochure describes the projects we have funded through this year's Electricity and Gas Network Innovation Competitions.

  • Published: 30th Nov 2017
  • Decisions
  • 3 Associated documents
Our decision on which projects we will fund under the 2017 Gas/ Electricity Network Innovation Competitions.

  • Published: 14th Jul 2017
  • Guidance
  • 4 Associated documents
These are the documents and guidance that Network Licensees should use when completing their Full Submissions for the 2017 Electric NIC.

  • Published: 30th Jun 2017
  • Decisions
  • 3 Associated documents
This notice explains our decision on proposed changes to version 3.0 of the Network Innovation Competition (NIC) Governance Document.

  • Published: 21st Apr 2017
  • Reports and plans
  • 1 Associated documents
NIC ISP screening submission for ‘HARP’ - Holistic Active and Reactive Project' from Western Power Distribution.

  • Published: 21st Apr 2017
  • Reports and plans
  • 1 Associated documents
NIC ISP screening submission for ‘Transition' from Scottish and Southern Power Distribution.

  • Published: 21st Apr 2017
  • Reports and plans
  • 1 Associated documents
NIC ISP Screening submission for ‘Fusion’ from Scottish Power Distribution.

  • Published: 21st Apr 2017
  • Reports and plans
  • 1 Associated documents
NIC ISP Screening submission for ‘Power Saver Plus’ from Electricity North West.

  • Published: 21st Apr 2017
  • Reports and plans
  • 1 Associated documents
NIC ISP screening submission for ‘EFFS’ - Electricity Flexibility and Forecasting System from Western Power Distribution.

  • Published: 21st Apr 2017
  • Reports and plans
  • 1 Associated documents
NIC ISP Screening submission for ‘LV Engine’ from Scottish Power Distribution.

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