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: 8th May 2015
  • Reports and plans
  • 2 Associated documents
Screening submission for 'New Suite of Transmission Structures (NeSTS)' from Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission.

  • Published: 2nd Apr 2015
  • Decisions
  • 5 Associated documents
This letter advises stakeholders that the second version of the NIC Governance Documents have come into force. It also describes the main changes we have made since we consulted on the documents.

  • Published: 20th Mar 2015
  • Closed: 16th May 2015
  • Consultations and responses
  • 1 Associated documents
Letter seeking views on the level of interest payments received by licensees implementing Low Carbon Networks Fund.

  • Published: 6th Mar 2015
  • Charts and data
  • 1 Associated documents
This is the proforma to be used by licensees wishing to make bids to the Electricity Network Innovation Competition.

  • Published: 25th Feb 2015
  • Closed: 25th Mar 2015
  • Consultations and responses
  • 11 Associated documents
This notice explains our proposed changes to the Network Innovation Competition (NIC) Governance Document.

  • Published: 6th Feb 2015
  • Guidance
  • 0 Associated documents
This year the deadline for submissions to the Initial Screening Process of the Electricity NIC is 7 April.

  • Published: 2nd Feb 2015
  • Decisions
  • 1 Associated documents
Modification notice amending Special Condition 3I (The Network Innovation Competition) in National Grid Electricity Transmission Plc’s electricity transmission licence.

  • Published: 2nd Feb 2015
  • Decisions
  • 1 Associated documents
Modification notice amending Amended Standard Condition E12-J11 (The Network Innovation Competition) in the offshore transmission owners’ licences.

  • Published: 2nd Feb 2015
  • Decisions
  • 4 Associated documents
Modification to Special Condition 3I (The Network Innovation Competition) in SP Transmission Plc’s electricity transmission licence.

  • Published: 14th Jan 2015
  • Decisions
  • 1 Associated documents
Network Innovation Competition funding direction setting out the amounts for the System Operator to include in its allowed revenues for 2015/16 and the amounts it will transfer to the companies implementing successful projects.