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 May 2012
  • Closed: 27th Jun 2012
  • Consultations and responses
  • 12 Associated documents
This letter consults further on funding the cost of preparing submissions for the Network Innovation Competition, as well as on the detailed governance of the Network Innovation Allowance.

  • Published: 21st Mar 2012
  • Decisions
  • 1 Associated documents
This document explains our decisions on two consultations on the high level policy aspects of the Network Innovation competition.

  • Published: 4th Jan 2012
  • Closed: 1st Feb 2012
  • Consultations and responses
  • 11 Associated documents
In September 2011 we consulted on the high level design of the Network Innovation Competition. We now ask for views on: breadth of network licensee participation in the competition and funding allowance for RIIO network licensees bid submission costs.

  • Published: 2nd Sep 2011
  • Closed: 17th Oct 2011
  • Consultations and responses
  • 11 Associated documents
This document sets out our decision on non-network company access to the Network Innovation Competition (NIC), as part of the RIIO price controls, and consults on further aspects of the NIC design.

  • Published: 21st Jan 2011
  • Closed: 4th Mar 2011
  • Consultations and responses
  • 1 Associated documents
This letter seeks views on arrangements we should put in place to give third parties (non-network companies) access to funding aimed at stimulating innovation on Great Britain’s energy networks.

  • Published: 19th Nov 2010
  • Agendas, minutes and presentations
  • 2 Associated documents
As part of our open letter consultation of 12 October, Ofgem held a stakeholder event giving an overview of the RIIO Innovation Stimulus. This note summarises the key issues from group discussions and the wider debate.

  • Published: 12th Oct 2010
  • Closed: 23rd Nov 2010
  • Consultations and responses
  • 25 Associated documents
This letter sets out Ofgem’s thinking on the development of the gas and electricity stimuli, as part of the RIIO model. It seeks views on key design elements and seeks participation in stakeholder forums.

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