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 2016
  • Reports and plans
  • 1 Associated documents
Screening submission for 'Proteus' from Western Power Distribution.

  • Published: 21st Apr 2016
  • Reports and plans
  • 1 Associated documents
Screening submission for 'Transmission & Distribution Interface 2.0 (TDI 2.0)' from National Grid Electricity Transmission.

  • Published: 21st Apr 2016
  • Reports and plans
  • 1 Associated documents
Screening submission for 'Phoenix – System Security and Synchronous Compensators' from Scottish Power Transmission.

  • Published: 21st Apr 2016
  • Reports and plans
  • 1 Associated documents
Screening submission for 'OpenLV.'

  • Published: 21st Apr 2016
  • Reports and plans
  • 1 Associated documents
Screening submission for 'Inspire' from Scottish Power Distribution.

  • Published: 1st Mar 2016
  • Closed: 29th Mar 2016
  • Consultations and responses
  • 10 Associated documents
In this open letter consultation, we propose licence changes to add a new category ‘Returned Project Revenues’ to the Network Innovation Competition’s Funding Return Mechanism.

  • Published: 8th Feb 2016
  • Guidance
  • 0 Associated documents
The submission deadline for this year’s Initial Screening Process will be 13 April 2016.

  • Published: 12th Jan 2016
  • 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 2016/17 and the amounts it will transfer to the companies implementing successful projects.

  • Published: 1st Dec 2015
  • Factsheets
  • 1 Associated documents
This brochure describes the projects we have funded through this year's electricity and gas Network Innovation Competitions.

  • Published: 30th Nov 2015
  • Decisions
  • 2 Associated documents
Our decision on which projects we will fund under the 2015 Electricity Network Innovation Competition.

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