2023: National Grid’s net zero milestones

Every year we work harder than ever to find new innovative ways of decarbonising the energy system and moving closer to reaching our net zero ambitions.

Our vision is to be at the heart of a clean, fair and affordable energy future, and in the past year we’ve achieved some impressive milestones that take us a step closer to making a net zero future a reality for everyone.

1. We launched The Great Grid Upgrade, the largest overhaul of the electricity grid in generations

Popcorn with the words 'We're bringing energy resilience to movie marathons - The Great Grid Upgrade'

The Great Grid Upgrade will play a big part in the UK government’s plan to boost homegrown power. It will help the UK switch to clean energy and make sure our electricity network is fit for the future; carrying more clean, secure energy from where it’s generated to where you need it.

Upgrading the grid today makes for a better tomorrow, helping to provide:

  • more clean energy for all
  • improved energy security
  • a grid that’s fit for the future
  • investment closer to home

Find out more about The Great Grid Upgrade

2. Twin States Clean Energy Link is selected for investment by the Biden-Harris Administration

The U.S. Department of Energy announced that the Twin States Clean Energy Link – our proposed transmission project to support New England's climate, clean energy and energy security goals – was selected as one of three projects nationwide to receive investment through the U.S. Bipartisan Infrastructure Law's Transmission Facilitation Program.

Twin States will deliver clean energy from Canada, including hydropower, to New England to support the region’s carbon reduction goals and increase the supply of affordable clean energy. As a bi-directional line, Twin States will enable clean energy producers in New England, such as offshore wind, to export excess capacity to Quebec during times of lower domestic demand, providing a critical boost to the region’s clean energy economy.

Find out more about the Twin States project

3. We connected the world’s largest offshore wind farm

We’ve connected Dogger Bank offshore wind farm to our electricity transmission network, following work to reinforce our Creyke Beck 400kV substation in Yorkshire, which will enable us to safely connect gigawatts of clean power to the grid and on to homes and businesses around Britain.

While not yet fully operational, Dogger Bank has started producing electricity for the first time, marking a major milestone in the development of the offshore wind industry and the transition to a cleaner, more secure energy system.

Did you know? A single rotation of the blades on a Dogger Bank wind turbine can produce enough clean energy to power an average British home for two days.

Find out more about the Dogger Bank connection

4. We’ll soon be sharing clean energy with Denmark

The world’s longest land and subsea interconnector, Viking Link, saw the completion of its cable laying earlier this summer. 

Stretching for 475 miles between the UK and Denmark, once completed by the end of 2023, Viking Link is due to begin transporting power in early 2024 and will enable the sharing of enough green electricity to power 1.4 million UK homes.

More about Viking Link

5. We celebrated 70 years of the supergrid

Britain’s high voltage supergrid (so named to help capture the public’s imagination) was born in July 1953, when a circuit-breaker at Staythorpe 132kV substation in Nottinghamshire was closed, energising part of the electricity grid at 275kV for the first time ever and marking a new era in the way that electricity is powered around the country.

The history of the supergrid

6. Community Offshore Wind is awarded a 1.3GW contract

Community Offshore Wind – a joint venture between RWE and National Grid Ventures – was provisionally awarded a 1.3GW offtake contract as part of the New York State's third solicitation for offshore wind. The first phase of the project will deliver enough clean energy to power at least 500,000 U.S. households.

Find out more about the contract and Community Offshore Wind

7. Breakthrough of our London Power Tunnels project in Greenwich

The completion of 32.5km of tunnelling, at depths of up to 60m under seven South London boroughs, culminated with the breakthrough at Eltham substation in Greenwich. This marks a major milestone in National Grid’s £1 billion project to rewire the capital’s electricity network – due for completion in 2026 – to boost resilience and future-proof supplies as demand grows.

Find out more about the London Power Tunnels project

8. The Future Grid project receives DOE funding

We’ve been awarded a $50 million federal infrastructure grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to integrate more clean energy on the grid. Our Future Grid Project – which will deploy digital technology to optimise the use of distributed energy resources to improve electric system reliability and resilience – is ultimately expected to lead to greater development and adoption of decarbonised resources, such as solar and energy storage.

Find out more about the grant and what it means for our project

9. We’re accelerating the connection of clean energy projects

We announced the acceleration of the connection of up to 20GW of clean energy projects – across both our transmission and distribution networks – as part of ongoing work with industry partners, Government and Ofgem to reform connections. These new connections will equate to the capacity of six Hinkley Point C nuclear power stations.

Find out more about the connection acceleration

10. Ofgem approves new queue management rules for grid connections

Ofgem has agreed a major change to the way the pipeline of projects wanting to connect to the electricity transmission network is managed, speeding up the connections process by allowing non-viable or stalled projects to be removed.

As the transmission owner in England and Wales, our team at National Grid Electricity Transmission (ET) has been working hard with the electricity system operator (ESO), wider industry and Ofgem to make this important change. It’s great news for clean energy projects that are ready to connect and for Britain’s net zero ambitions.

Find out more about how the new rule will speed up connections


Published: 29 Nov 2023

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