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: 21st Apr 2017
  • Reports and plans
  • 1 Associated documents
NIC ISP screening submission for ‘Active Response’ from London Power Networks.

  • Published: 3rd Feb 2017
  • Guidance
  • 0 Associated documents
The submission deadline for this year’s Initial Screening Process will be 4 April 2017.

  • Published: 3rd Feb 2017
  • Open letters and correspondence
  • 1 Associated documents
Electricity Network Innovation Competition funding direction setting out the amounts for the System Operator to include in its allowed revenues for 2017/18 and the amounts it will transfer to the companies implementing successful projects.

  • Published: 13th Jan 2017
  • Decisions
  • 8 Associated documents
We have modified the NIC and LCNF licence conditions to broaden the Funding Return Mechanism. We consulted on the changes in September 2016.

  • Published: 30th Nov 2016
  • 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 2016
  • Decisions
  • 2 Associated documents
Our decision on which projects we will fund under the 2016 Electricity Network Innovation Competition.

  • Published: 21st Sep 2016
  • Closed: 25th Oct 2016
  • Consultations and responses
  • 14 Associated documents
We have issued Notices under section 11A(2) of the Electricity Act 1989 and under section 23(2) of the Gas Act 1986 to the relevant licence holders.

  • Published: 8th Jun 2016
  • Guidance
  • 4 Associated documents
These are the documents and guidance that Network Licensees should use when completing their Full Submissions for the 2016 Electric NIC.

  • Published: 21st Apr 2016
  • Reports and plans
  • 1 Associated documents
Screening submission for 'POWERFL-CB - Power-electronic Fault Limiting Circuit Breaker' from London Power Networks.

  • Published: 21st Apr 2016
  • Reports and plans
  • 1 Associated documents
Screening submission for 'ReZone – Resilient Network Zones' from Scottish and Southern Power Distribution.

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