East Anglia GREEN frequently asked questions

Here you’ll find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the East Anglia GREEN project.

We’ll update these as our work progresses and we hope they answer your questions about this project.

General Information

Who is National Grid?

National Grid sits at the heart of Britain’s energy system, connecting millions of people and businesses to the energy they use every day. We bring energy to life – in the heat, light and power we bring to our customer’s homes and businesses; in the way that we support our communities and help them to grow; and in the way we show up in the world. It is our vision to be at the heart of a clean, fair and affordable energy future. 

Our individual companies run the systems and infrastructure that deliver electricity and gas across the country. 

  • National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET) own, build, and manage the electricity grid in England and Wales to which many different energy sources are connected.  
  • National Grid Gas Transmission own, build, and manage the gas transmission network in Great Britain, making gas available when and where it’s needed.  
  • National Grid ESO (Electricity System Operator) control the movement of electricity around the country ensuring supply meets demand.  
  • National Grid Ventures (NGV) is the competitive division of National Grid, investing in energy projects, technologies, and partnerships to accelerate the development of our clean energy future. 

More information about National Grid can be found on ‘About Us’. 

What is National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET)?

National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET), owns, builds and maintains the high-voltage electricity transmission network in England and Wales. In England and Wales, the high voltage network operates primarily at 400,000 volts (400 kV) and 275,000 volts (275 kV).  

It is NGET that is developing plans for the East Anglia GREEN reinforcement and are the electricity and transmission arm within National Grid.  

What is National Grid ESO?

National Grid ESO is the Electricity System Operator for Great Britain. Generators of electricity apply to National Grid ESO when they wish to connect to the high-voltage electricity network. National Grid ESO leads the work to consider how the network may need to evolve to deliver a cleaner greener future. National Grid ESO is a separate legal entity from National Grid Electricity Transmission.

What is National Grid Ventures (NGV)?

National Grid Ventures (NGV) sit outside the core regulated National Grid businesses, investing in technologies and partnerships that help accelerate the UK’s move to a clean energy future. This includes interconnectors, which are undersea cables that connect the UK with countries across the North Sea, allowing trade between energy markets and efficient use of renewable energy resources.

What are National Grid’s policies when working in the UK?

National Grid’s commitments when undertaking works in the UK can be found in our Stakeholder, community and amenity policy: Commitments when undertaking works in the UK.

What are National Grid Electricity Transmissions’ (NGET) responsibilities within the electricity industry?

When developing transmission network proposals, we have a statutory duty, under the Electricity Act 1989, to act in an efficient, coordinated and economical way, and have regard to the desirability of preserving amenity. 

When considering options to deliver additional electrical network capability, we must balance the need to develop the network in a way that is efficient, coordinated and economical, and minimises impacts on people and places.

How is National Grid regulated?

In the UK, energy networks are regulated by Ofgem, (the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets). Ofgem operate under the direction and governance of the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority (GEMA). It has established price control mechanisms to ensure that the investment required to maintain a reliable and secure network is delivered at a fair price for consumers. 

Our shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and as such, we are also regulated by the Financial Services Authority in the UK. 

 

What is the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy?

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), is a ministerial department responsible for business, industrial strategy, science, research and innovation, energy and clean growth, and climate change. BEIS are looking to build a stronger, greener future through innovation.  

Following the Government’s ‘Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution’ in December 2020, BEIS published an energy white paper entitled ‘Powering Our Net Zero Future, which sets out how the UK will clean up its energy system and reach net zero emissions by 2050. BEIS works alongside Ofgem in setting the framework within which National Grid ESO, National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET) and the wider energy sector operates. 

What is the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy’s Offshore Transmission Network Review?

The Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) department’s Offshore Transmission Network Review is currently looking at how the offshore electricity transmission network can be delivered in a more coordinated way to deliver net zero emissions by 2050, and we fully support that work. We will work closely with Government, stakeholders and coastal communities to ensure we play our part to deliver the infrastructure needed to achieve net zero in a way that reduces impacts on communities. 

In meeting that challenge there are two key considerations. The first is the way in which we best connect and coordinate the growth of offshore wind farms and interconnectors to the electricity transmission network along the immediate coastline. The second is the network reinforcements required further inland to accommodate the increased demand on the network and to ensure we can effectively transport the power to where it is needed across Great Britain. 

That offshore coordination work by Government is ongoing. As explained in the Energy White Paper, Government will be looking to redesign the current regime to bring more extensive coordination and mitigate environmental, social and economic costs for the 2030s and beyond. While developers will be encouraged, where early opportunities for coordination exist, to consider becoming pathfinder projects, National Grid ESO explains in the latest Network Options Assessment, that onshore reinforcement is still needed. The System Operator’s analysis found that the viable offshore options, in the scenario where 40 GW of offshore wind is achieved by 2030, do not displace any of the onshore reinforcement requirements that have been identified. 

What is Ofgem?

Ofgem (the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets) is the government regulator for gas and electricity markets in Great Britain. Ofgem is a non-ministerial government department and an independent National Regulatory Authority, whose role is to protect consumers through delivering a greener, fairer, energy system. Ofgem works with Government, industry and consumer groups to help deliver a net zero economy at the lowest cost possible to consumers.

What is the Crown Estate?

The Crown Estate is an independent commercial business, created by an Act of Parliament, with a diverse portfolio of UK buildings, shoreline, seabed, forestry, agriculture, and common land. The Crown Estate has worked alongside National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) and National Grid Electricity Transmission on studies regarding offshore wind development which will be significant in informing future policy choices on provision of offshore transmission infrastructure. 

What is the Holistic Network Design (HND)?

A Holistic Network Design (HND) for offshore wind projects is currently being developed for offshore wind projects which aim to be operational by 2030 and which are covered by the government’s Pathway to 2030 workstream in the Offshore Transmission Network Review (OTNR). The HND is being produced to ensure that all energy network infrastructure is designed and coordinated with optimum engineering solutions that also consider the economic, environmental and community impacts. 

In developing the HND, the National Grid ESO is bringing together onshore and offshore network planning to allow the development of engineering solutions for the country’s transmission infrastructure that connects offshore wind projects to the network in a coordinated way.  

The objectives for the development of the HND are that it should be cost-efficient and deliverable, but also to minimise the impact new coordinated infrastructure has on communities and the environment. 

Why are there so many projects in East Anglia and why they are all needed?

The network in East Anglia was built in the 1960s to cope with the level of demand at that time, and  currently carries around 3,200 MW of electricity generation. The growth in new energy generation from offshore wind and nuclear power over the next decade is expected to increase generation in the region by 15,000 MW, whilst interconnection with other countries is expected to connect more than 4,500 MW of new interconnection into East Anglia. This means that there will be more electricity connected in East Anglia than the network can currently accommodate.  

Our existing power lines do not have sufficient capacity to accommodate this new generation. We are already carrying out work to upgrade the existing transmission network in East Anglia, however these upgrades alone will not be sufficient.   

East Anglia GREEN is a key part of our wider investment programme to upgrade our electricity transmission network in East Anglia to ensure we meet this future energy transmission demand. 

Why aren’t offshore solutions being considered?  

Offshore solutions were considered as part of our strategic proposal to upgrade the network in East Anglia, and we are proposing an offshore reinforcement in East Anglia (Sea Link), along with other additional onshore electricity lines such as the Bramford to Twinstead reinforcement. These reinforcements alone do not deliver the additional capacity required to the network in the region. 

Prior to our non-statutory consultation a number of strategic options for East Anglia GREEN that might achieve the required reinforcement were examined, including offshore and subsea options. These options did not fully address technical or physical/geographical constraints or enable the network to operate to the required standards.  

East Anglia GREEN

What is the East Anglia Green project?

East Anglia Green is a proposed reinforcement of the transmission network of approximately 180 km of new connection comprising 400 kV overhead lines, including pylons and conductors, between the existing substations at Norwich Main in Norfolk, Bramford in Suffolk, and Tilbury in Essex, with undergrounded cable through the Dedham Vale AONB. East Anglia Green will also connect new offshore wind generation – the North Falls Offshore Wind Farm and Five Estuaries Offshore Wind Farm. Both projects are in development and expected to be operational by 2030 if consented.

Works will also be required at the existing 400 kV substations at Norwich, Bramford and Tilbury, and cable sealing end (CSE) compounds will be required to connect sections of underground cable with the overhead lines. 

Why is this new reinforcement needed?

The Government has set a target that by 2050 the UK will have net zero carbon emissions. In order to achieve this, and hit the targets along the way, such as connecting 40 GW of offshore wind by 2030, new infrastructure will be needed to deliver the increased energy production. This will include new overhead lines, underground cables, cable sealing end compounds (where underground cables meet overhead lines) and substations.  

How is the project need identified?

National Grid ESO published their latest recommendations for how the network needs to be reinforced in the latest Network Options Assessment (NOA) report. NOA 2021 confirms the need for an upgrade to the existing line in East Anglia in all future energy scenarios. You can read more about the latest NOA report here

What will you do if the HND or NOA changes the need for the project?

Our current proposals are based upon the NOA that was published in January 2022, If subsequent publications of the NOA (scheduled for publication in summer 2022) or HND indicate a fundamental change in strategy, we will review the project in light of these and adjust our strategy and/or proposals accordingly.  

How do you consider the cumulative impact of your projects and other developer’s projects?

The current proposals for the Bramford to Twinstead reinforcement were included in our initial baseline assessments. At our statutory consultation in 2023, we will publish the Environmental Impact Assessment for East Anglia GREEN. This will include a cumulative effects assessment, which will consider the cumulative effects between the East Anglia GREEN reinforcement and other proposed developments in the area, including the Bramford to Twinstead reinforcement. 

Public consultation

What are you consulting on?

During our public consultation, we are asking for your feedback on our preferred route corridor and graduated swathe and the preferred location of the new substation in Tendring District in order to identify and understand the views and opinions of stakeholders and communities that may be affected by our proposals. 

How can I provide my feedback during this stage of consultation?

Our public consultation runs from Thursday 21 April to Thursday 16 June 2022. We are holding a series of face-to-face and online events, including consultation events and webinars. Details of these can be found on our website and have been publicised to the local community.   

You can provide feedback through the following channels:  

  • online: Fill in our online feedback form 
  • hard copy: Visit us at one of our events to collect a hard-copy feedback questionnaire, which can be completed and handed to the team, picked up at an information point at community hubs such as libraries, or requested to be sent through the post 
  • by email: Send your comments or scanned electronic copies of our response form to [email protected] 
  • by post: You can send your hard copy response form or comments to: FREEPOST EAST ANGLIA GREEN (please write this in capitals and you do not need a stamp or any further address details).  
What documents are available to read?

We have produced the following documents for the purposes of this non-statutory consultation: 

  • Project Background Document  – providing an overview of the project and detailing our proposals and how we are consulting 
  • Corridor Preliminary Routeing and Siting report – providing more technical information on the project and the need for the project, the options considered, the routing and siting options assessed and our preferred options 
  • overview map and individual route section maps showing the location of the preferred route and the graduated swathe 
  • newsletter summarising details of the project and public consultation 
  • response form – to gather comments and feedback. 
What happens after the consultation?

The feedback received during the non-statutory consultation will inform how the East Anglia GREEN project is developed prior to our next stage of statutory consultation in 2023. Following the non-statutory consultation, we will send a newsletter to the stakeholders in our Primary Consultation Zone, and any other stakeholders that have been asked to be kept updated on the consultation, to outline the feedback numbers and overall themes of the consultation. 

After both stages of consultation have taken place, we will collate and analyse all feedback received and take this into account as we refine the Project design. We will then prepare and publish a Consultation Report, which will summarise the feedback we have received and outline how we carried out both the non-statutory and statutory consultations.