National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET) has been successful in securing £8.12m of funding from Ofgem’s Network Innovation Competition (NIC) to research the uprating of overhead lines (OHL), with the remainder being funded by National Grid.

RICA will provide a faster option to alleviate network constraints through uprating existing 275kV lines to 400kV, delivering significant savings to consumers. Our Core scenario estimates £286m of savings can be delivered to consumers.

Uprating will increase the efficiency of transmission infrastructure through lower losses, saving energy and cost. In the near future where GB’s electricity supply still contains a significant carbon content, lower losses will reduce transmission network CO2 emissions. Using RICA will further decrease emissions through avoiding use of steel and concrete required for new OHL builds. RICAs can deliver a 39kt reduction of net carbon emissions by 2050. 

Additionally, using RICAs on existing towers to uprate OHLs will reduce the disruption to land and environment that would likely be required if new towers and new foundations were used instead along existing routes, and will prevent new routes being developed in greenfield or brownfield sites. 

The project will deliver type-registered RICA designs for use with key 275kV tower types that aren’t inherently upgradable to 400kV on the NGET network - these represent 30% of all 275kV towers. This demonstrates this technology can be rolled out across the network to deliver value for consumers. 

Objectives and Deliverables

Project team and governance – Technical Advisory Board