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: 29th Apr 2013
  • Other
  • 1 Associated documents
Screening submission from National Grid Electricity Transmission for the Electricity Network Innovation Competition project MSB.

  • Published: 29th Apr 2013
  • Other
  • 1 Associated documents
Screening submission from TC Ormonde OFTO Ltd for the Electricity Network Innovation Competition project Development,Testing, and Manufacture of a Universal, Subsea, 132kV Cable Joint.

  • Published: 29th Apr 2013
  • Other
  • 1 Associated documents
Screening submission from TC Ormonde OFTO Ltd for the Electricity Network Innovation Competition project Trial/Demonstration of an Innovative Seabed Scour Protection Method.

  • Published: 29th Apr 2013
  • Decisions
  • 1 Associated documents
Screening submission from TC Ormonde OFTO Ltd for the Electricity Network Innovation Competition project Modification of a Telecommunications Repair Vessel for Power Cable Repairs.

  • Published: 29th Apr 2013
  • Other
  • 1 Associated documents
Screening submission from Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission plc for the Electricity Network Innovation Competition project Multi Terminal Test Environment for HVDC Systems.

  • Published: 20th Mar 2013
  • Other
  • 1 Associated documents
This is the proforma used by licensees wishing to make bids to the Electricity Network Innovation Competition.

  • Published: 11th Feb 2013
  • Other
  • 1 Associated documents
This document is the electricity Network Innovation Competition Governance Document. It contains all the regulation, governance and administration of the electricity NIC.

  • Published: 10th Jan 2013
  • Consultations and responses
  • 28 Associated documents
This letter summarises the responses we received to our October consultation on the Network Innovation Competition and Network Innovation Allowance governance documents.

  • Published: 10th Oct 2012
  • Closed: 21st Nov 2012
  • Consultations and responses
  • 9 Associated documents
We have developed draft versions of the NIC and NIA governance documents which we are informally consulting on. The IPR chapters (chapter 7 for the NIA documents and chapter 9 for the NIC documents) have now been added to the consultation.

  • Published: 13th Aug 2012
  • Decisions
  • 2 Associated documents
This letter contains our decision on funding the cost of preparing submissions for the Network Innovation Competition, as well as on the detailed governance of the Network Innovation Allowance.

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