As part of the RIIO-GD1 and RIIO-T1 price controls we introduced the Gas Network Innovation Competition (NIC).
The Gas NIC is an annual opportunity for Gas 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 £20 million per annum is available through the Gas NIC.
The 2017 Competition
The deadline for full submissions was 7 August 2017. We received three submissions for the 2017 Gas NIC seeking a total of £21.8m. We will announce which projects we have approved for funding in November 2017:
H21 (Northern Gas Networks)
The project will provide quantified safety based evidence to confirm the gas distribution networks of Great Britain are suitable to transport 100% hydrogen. The evidence produced will be used to support the case for a GB hydrogen conversion.
RRES - Robotic Roadworks & Excavation System (Southern Gas Networks and Scotland Gas Networks)
The project aims to develop a Robotic Roadworks & Excavation System, which will use advanced robotics and Artificial Intelligence to lower the cost and improve the efficiency, safety and environmental impact of utility excavations and activity.
Tain Innovative Gas Grid (Fulcrum Pipelines)
This project aims to deliver Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and biomethane via a new gas network to the community of Tain in northeast Scotland. The new network would not be connected to the GB gas grid as Tain is too far away for a conventional connection to be economic.